WILLIAMSBURG, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Baker continued his tour of western Massachusetts Tuesday to talk about the impacts of the administration’s climate resiliency grant program.

$1.8 million is going towards a new public safety complex allowing a small town to get the energy-efficient upgrades that wouldn’t have been in the budget without this money.

“Williamsburg residents are well aware of how the world is changing,” Paul Wetzel is the lead organizer who helped lock in a grant for the town of Williamsburg. It’s called the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant or MVP action grant. It was created five years ago by the Baker-Polito Administration with the idea of giving communities funds to help make projects more efficient.

Even if everything was better tomorrow we’d still have to do a lot of this adaptation and resiliency work which is why it’s so important to us that we have communities that are stepping up.”

Speaking at the site of where the new public safety complex will go, Paul said the old police and fire stations were built more than 100 years ago, lack insulation, and can’t fit modern emergency vehicles. With this new building, the MVP action grant money allows the town to afford energy-efficient upgrades like solar panels.

“Building this public safety complex is a once in our lifetime chance for the town to construct a building that not only meets the modern needs of police and fire departments but also demonstrates best practices and sustainable solutions.” Paul Wetzel, lead organizer

In five years, the MVP action grant program has given $100 million across the state.

“Since we started the program in 2017, the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program has played a large role in helping cities and towns across the state fight climate change by investing $100 million in 341 municipalities, or 97% of the Commonwealth’s communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this latest round of MVP funding, we are making the single largest investment in the program by directing nearly $33 million towards critical climate resilience projects throughout Massachusetts.”

“This is the sixth round of MVP funding, and we are making a major push forward by funding more climate resilience implementation projects than ever before,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “It has been rewarding to see projects move through the phases from planning to design to construction and implementation over the last five years, and we are starting to see the tangible difference these projects are making in our communities as we prepare for a changing climate.”

“Every year the real need for climate resilience funding becomes even more important for our municipal partners, who have remained steadfast in their commitment to the hard work of preparing their communities for climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “It is extremely gratifying to see more dollars than ever before being put towards local projects, such as drought mitigation, stormwater and culvert upgrades, and land acquisitions, which will have numerous positive impacts on the state’s residents for many years to come.”

The following communities will receive funding to complete the MVP planning process:

Grantee MVP Program Region Total Award 
Hancock Berkshires & Hilltowns $27,000 
Hanover Greater Boston $36,700 
Lee Berkshires & Hilltowns $27,000 
Middlefield Berkshires & Hilltowns $27,000 
Monroe Berkshires & Hilltowns $25,000 
West Stockbridge Berkshires & Hilltowns $15,000 
Total (6)  Total: $157,700 

  

The following projects are receiving Action Grants: 

Grantee Project Title Grant Award 
Andover & Lawrence Shawsheen River Nature-Based Flood Resilience  $271,705  
Ayer & Devens Ayer-Devens Main Streets Regional Pocket Forests Pilot Project   $282,624  
Belchertown Scarborough Brook Watershed Improvements  $139,500  
Berlin Horseshoe Pond Acquisition Project   $874,268  
Beverly Bass River District Resilience Plan   $200,000  
Boxford Increasing Watershed Scale Resiliency in Boxford Through Culvert Upgrades in the Howlett Brook Watershed  $265,900  
Brockton Trout Brook Flood Resilience  $157,300  
Brookline Climate Crisis Action and Resilience Plan Update  $75,000  
Cambridge Cambridge Community Corps Climate Readiness Initiative  $150,000  
Chatham, Provincetown, Harwich, Mashpee, & Falmouth Regional Low Lying Road Assessment and Feasibility  $205,479  
Chatham Brewster, Harwich, & Orleans Pleasant Bay Climate Adaptation Action Plan  $292,710  
Chelsea, Revere, & Winthrop Envisioning Resilience in the North Suffolk Region through Community Preparedness  $87,500  
Chelsea Eastern Ave. Alternatives Analysis + Conceptual Design   $333,492  
Chelsea, Somerville, Everett, Malden, Revere, & Winthrop Equitable Coastal Resilience and Redevelopment in Lower Mystic   $556,000  
Chester, Blandford, & Middlefield Evaluating & Planning for Resilient Rural Dirt Roads  $317,550  
Dedham & Neponset Watershed Communities Neponset Watershed Regional Adaptation Strategy and Flood Model  $389,457  
Dennis Pound Pond – Flood Mitigation and Storm Drainage Improvements Dennis, Massachusetts – Phase 2 Final Design   $73,628  
Dracut Design and Permitting for Collinsville Dam Removal Project  $174,000  
Easthampton Emerald Place Resiliency  $117,800  
Essex Apple Street Roadbed Elevation and Culvert Replacement Project  $222,037  
Everett & Chelsea Island End River Flood Resilience Project  $2,998,600  
Everett, Malden, Chelsea, & Arlington Beat the Heat: Wicked Cool Outdoors / Venza el Calor: Súper Fresco Afuera  $339,915  
Fairhaven Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment  $40,000  
Fall River & Westport South Watuppa Pond Green Infrastructure Blue Water Restoration  $379,875  
Fall River Fall River CSO Treatment Study  $1,163,000  
Fitchburg Generating Resiliency in Downtown Fitchburg with Nature-Based Solutions   $109,000  
Framingham Walnut Street Neighborhood Flood Mitigation -Permits & Easements  $155,000  
Great Barrington Lake Mansfield Recreation Area Improvements Phase 1  $992,500  
Hatfield Climate-Smart Comprehensive Planning for Hatfield  $283,900  
Hudson, Framingham, & Natick SuAsCo Natural Climate Solutions Project  $314,393  
Hull Hull Climate Adaption Roadmap; Alternatives Analysis for the Hampton Circle Area  $198,624  
Lincoln Town of Lincoln Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (L-CAP) Proposal  $100,000  
Longmeadow Toward the New Normal: Envisioning an Inclusive & Resilient Longmeadow  $235,555 
Lowell Resilient Urban Forest Master Plan and Urban Heat Island Assessment  $93,000  
Malden Malden River Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience  $200,550  
Mashpee Increasing Resilience to Harmful Algal Blooms in Santuit Pond Stormwater Retrofit Implementation – Phase 1  $469,037  
Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, Marion, Rochester, & Acushnet Mattapoisett River Valley Water Supply Resilience Project  $4,500,000  
Medford Interconnected Resiliency Network & Resilient Communications  $416,738  
Medford Andrews School Resilient Emergency Shelter  $670,568  
Middleborough Picone Farm Preservation for Climate Resiliency, Flood Storage, Water Quality & Food Security  $1,364,325  
Monson Chicopee Brook Flood Resilience Improvements  $295,000  
Montague Incorporating Climate Resiliency into the Montague Comprehensive Plan  $80,000  
Monterey Enhancing Flood Resiliency Through the Evaluation and Redesign of Critical Infrastructure Along the Konkapot River – Phase II Final Design & Permitting  $124,071  
Natick & Charles River Watershed Communities Building Resilience Across the Charles River Watershed Phase III  $333,070  
New Bedford Kempton Street Corridor Green Infrastructure  $161,800  
Northampton Climate Resilient Downtown Affordable Housing  $921,300 
Oak Bluffs Vulnerability Assessment and Permit Level Design of Coastal Resilience Improvements for Dukes County Ave Pump Station  $69,529  
Plympton Preserving Turkey Swamp: A Keystone Goal  $502,500  
Reading & Mystic River Watershed Communities Maillet, Sommes, Morgan Constructed Stormwater Wetland   $2,116,578  
Revere Diamond Creek Catchment Improvements Investigation and Assessment  $235,509  
Revere, Saugus, Malden, Everett, & Lynn Regional Saugus River Watershed Vulnerability and Adaptation Study   $150,872  
Richmond & West Stockbridge Resilient Stormwater Action and Implementation Plan   $265,408  
Rowe, Heath, Shelburne, & Conway Community Driven Forest Climate Adaptation: Implementing the Forest Climate Resilience Program in the Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership   $164,450  
Salem Collins Cove to Willows Resilience Study  $234,565  
Seekonk Attleboro Dye Works Dam Removal: Design & Permitting  $191,000  
Sherborn Sherborn’s Climate Activation and Resilience Plan- A Model for Climate Mobilization for the MetroWest Region  $38,145  
Shrewsbury Regulatory Update for Sustainable Parking Requirements  $90,000  
Shrewsbury Climate Action and Resilience Plan   $100,000  
South Hadley Queensville Dam and Buttery Brook Restoration  $162,000  
Stoneham Stoneham High School Wetland Restoration  $108,700  
Stoughton Stoughton Town-wide Drainage Model, Vulnerability Assessment, and Adaptation Strategies to Mitigate Future Flooding  $218,175  
Stow Stow Acres North Acquisition and Climate Resilience Master Plan  $1,135,000  
Sutton Manchaug Village Water Resource Resiliency Action Plan  $75,000  
Templeton Old Royalston Road Culvert Replacement  $503,225  
Uxbridge Home Brew Dam and Whitin Pond Dam Removal  $185,450  
Waltham Designing a Resilient Chester Brook Corridor  $143,900  
Ware Muddy Brook Subwatershed Resiliency Master Plan  $42,740  
Whately Whately Energy Resilience and Education  $304,778  
Williamsburg Williamsburg Public Safety Complex  $1,831,137  
Woburn & Mystic River Watershed Communities Hurld Park – Heat Resilient Park  $271,425  
Worcester Drainage and Green Infrastructure Master Plan   $1,253,091  
Wrentham & Norfolk Eagle Dam Removal Phase II  $41,337  
Yarmouth Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan  $80,089  
Total: 73  Total: $32,640,374 

“The MVP grant program is among the most relevant and the most effective in the Commonwealth,” said State Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “I’m absolutely delighted to see substantial funds flowing to western Massachusetts thanks to the stellar work of EEA officials and municipal leaders alike. I look forward to offering sustained support for this critical initiative.”

“We are witnessing the elevated impact of climate change in our small towns, including storms that wipe out culverts, bridges, and roads,” said State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “I am proud of the relationship between the legislature and the administration to act forcefully in support of our municipalities that often struggle to keep up with demand.”

“Communities often struggle with figuring out how to stretch dollars to fund critical projects. The infusion of funds to Northampton, Williamsburg, and Hatfield in my district will go a long way to support projects that will help ensure these communities are climate ready,” said State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton). “I am extremely grateful that the Commonwealth has acknowledged the importance of offering tangible support to these cities and towns today.”