Floodwaters have caused a river to swell and overflow its banks causing damage to a small bridge along a rural road. The bridge is impassable.
AI's rendering of a flood damaged bridge.

Berkshire towns to receive nearly $3M in disaster relief

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.

BOSTON — Today, at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Business Meeting, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll announced that the Healey-Driscoll administration is releasing the first $10 million of disaster relief funding for communities that were damaged by flooding last year. This funding comes from the supplemental budget passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Maura Healey in December.  

Lieutenant Governor Driscoll also announced that the administration is increasing funding for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program by 35 percent. The additional $7 million funding will specifically help communities plan, design and construct nature-based solutions to inland flooding. 

Additionally, the Healey-Driscoll administration is opening applications for the Fiscal Year 2025 Community One Stop for Growth program, through which municipalities can apply for funding through state community and economic development grant programs. 

“Lieutenant Governor Driscoll and I have spent the past year visiting municipalities that suffered catastrophic damage due to severe weather. We knew they needed more support to rebuild, which is why we worked with the Legislature to secure these disaster relief funds,” said Governor Healey. “We’re proud to be delivering the first round of these funds to 37 cities and towns to relieve some of the burden they’ve been facing, and we’re also going to increase support for municipalities in their efforts to reduce the risk of flooding in their communities through the MVP Program.”  

“As the former Mayor of Salem and now as Lieutenant Governor, I know first-hand how crucial collaboration is in tackling the biggest challenges facing our 351 cities and towns,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “That’s why we are proud to offer the Community One Stop for Growth program each year, which reduces red tape and streamlines the process for communities to apply for critical state funding that will improve quality of life for their residents.” 

Flood Relief 

In December, Governor Healey and the Legislature partnered on a supplemental budget that included $15 million for municipalities that experienced damage or incurred emergency response costs from extreme weather over the past year. The administration is now distributing a first round of $10 million to 37 communities. The remaining $5 million will be released later this Spring to support municipalities impacted by September storms. 

The list below detailed the planned award distributions for the first $10 million: 

County MuniAllocation
BerkshireAdams525,000
BerkshireBecket315,000
BerkshireClarksburg575,000
BerkshireDalton20,000
BerkshireHinsdale45,000
BerkshireNorth Adams1,225,000
BerkshirePeru20,000
BerkshireSandisfield20,000
BerkshireSheffield20,000
BerkshireWashington20,000




TOTAL2,785,000

Click to view all towns receiving disaster relief funding due to 2022 flooding

CountyMuniAllocation
BerkshireAdams525,000
BerkshireBecket315,000
BerkshireClarksburg575,000
BerkshireDalton20,000
BerkshireHinsdale45,000
BerkshireNorth Adams1,225,000
BerkshirePeru20,000
BerkshireSandisfield20,000
BerkshireSheffield20,000
BerkshireWashington20,000
WorcesterFitchburg1,140,000
WorcesterNorth Brookfield100,000
WorcesterRoyalston20,000
WorcesterSturbridge20,000
HampshireGoshen20,000
HampshireNorthampton365,000
HampshirePlainfield20,000
HampshireWilliamsburg20,000
FranklinAshfield400,000
FranklinBuckland20,000
FranklinConway1,245,000
FranklinDeerfield1,580,000
FranklinGill30,000
FranklinGreenfield105,000
FranklinHeath30,000
FranklinLeverett20,000
FranklinShutesbury20,000
FranklinWendell55,000
PlymouthMattapoisett100,000
NorfolkDover405,000
MiddlesexBillerica165,000
EssexAmesbury25,000
EssexAndover25,000
EssexHaverhill480,000
EssexLawrence60,000
EssexMethuen20,000
EssexNorth Andover725,000
Total10,000,000

Climate and Environmental Resilience Funding  

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is providing $7 million from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Climate Mitigation Trust for additional Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) action grants to communities impacted by inland flooding in 2023. The funds are in addition to the $20 million allocated for MVP action grants in the FY25 Capital Investment Plan (CIP), representing a 35% increase in MVP action grant funds.  

The action grants will fund nature-based solutions such as the planning, design and construction of green stormwater infrastructure and stream and wetland restoration projects that reduce the risk of flooding. 

There is significant demand for these resources. In December, EEA received the largest response to date to its request for expressions of interest (EOIs) from cities, towns, regional groups and tribes for MVP action grants. The office received 196 EOIs, compared to 155 EOIs received the previous year.  

In addition to this increase in MVP grants, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF) is releasing the first $10 million dollars of the closeout supplemental budget funding to support municipalities impacted by the July and August storms.  

Community One Stop for Growth 

Launched in January 2021, the Community One Stop for Growth is a streamlined application process that makes it easier for communities and entities to access the state’s numerous community and economic development grant programs. In its first three rounds, the One Stop resulted in 869 grant awards across 243 communities. These awards amounted to over $396.3 million in grant funds – including over $130 million to Gateway Cities and over $100 million to rural and small towns. New this year, the HousingWorks Infrastructure Program will be officially integrated into the One Stop.FY25 applications must be submitted for consideration between May 6 – June 5, 2024.  

   
The One Stop process not only helps to make grants programs more accessible to all communities, but also ensures the equitable distribution of resources across all regions of the Commonwealth. Of the 869 projects awarded to date, 29 percent were located in a community identified as a Rural Town and/or Small Town; 47 percent were located in a Housing Choice Community; and 32 percent were located in a Gateway City.   

 
In addition to the three virtual information sessions hosted each year, each One Stop program manager will record a webinar specific to their respective program. Each webinar will provide an overview of the program, including more specific information about eligibility, project competitiveness, and examples of past awards. All program webinars will be posted to the One Stop website on February 16, 2024.  

New this year, the Executive Office of Economic Development is expanding opportunities available for prospective applicants to receive guidance.   

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is now offered as a short webform, accessed directly through the One Stop website. The new streamlined process allows for both an expedited delivery of EOI feedback and eliminates the limit to the number of projects that an organization can submit. The EOI becomes available February 9 and will remain open through April 30.  

To supplement the guidance received in the EOI process, One Stop staff and program managers will host two separate virtual office hour series to answer applicant questions. One Stop General Guidance Office Hours will be hosted by One Stop staff to answer general process and technology questions. In addition, each program in the One Stop will host a separate, individual program office hour session to allow applicants to ask program staff questions specific to the program.  

For more information on the One Stop and the Full Application, please visit www.mass.gov/onestop

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