For Immediate Release - January 13, 2014

Patrick Administration Awards $13.5 Million in Dam and Seawall Grants, Loans

PLYMOUTH – Monday, January 13, 2014 –Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced $13.5 million in investments for dam, seawall and breakwater projects across the Commonwealth. These funds will remove ecologically hazardous dams, repair dams in poor or unsafe condition and improve Massachusetts’ coastal infrastructure.

“Aging infrastructure is a reality that citizens across the Commonwealth deal with every day,” said Secretary Sullivan. “The Patrick Administration has made these critical investments to address the public safety concerns and risks from declining dams, seawalls and breakwaters, especially when planning for the next Superstorm Sandy or Winter Storm Nemo.”

The coastal infrastructure projects will help to protect key public assets such as business districts, water and sewer systems and transportation routes imperative to providing emergency services. The dam projects will repair or remove structures that are high or significant hazard dams in poor or unsafe condition to help restore ecological systems and benefit public safety.

The funding for these investments includes $7.6 million in grants from the EEA Environmental Bond and $5.9 million in grants and low interest loans from the Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Fund.  The Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Fund was signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2013 to address public safety issues caused by aging infrastructure. This is the first round of awards from the fund. State funds were matched with more than $5.9 million in local and federal investments.

“These funds provide immense help in the restoration of our environment and natural resources across the Commonwealth, as well as increase the overall health of our communities,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “We will be able to make significant repairs to deteriorating infrastructure or even remove them if necessary, such as with the Plymco Dam in Plymouth. I thank the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for supporting these very critical initiatives.”

“As a representative of a coastal community I am acutely aware of how important these infrastructure projects are,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “These investments will help protect hardworking home and business owners, and guard against the economic risks inherent to natural disasters. I thank the Patrick Administration and Secretary Sullivan for their vigilance and assistance in securing these grants.” 

“I am pleased to see the Commonwealth invest to improve dams and seawalls to promote public safety and to restore ecosystems across Massachusetts,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These funds will help eliminate risks to crucial natural resources and preserve our infrastructure.”

"The creation of this Dam and Seawall Program has been a point of personal pride and I am pleased that the date of this initial round of grants has come,” said Representative Jim Cantwell. “I want to thank the Governor for his personal attention to this issue which included his touring our communities to see the need for these critical infrastructure improvements.  I also have to thank Secretary Sullivan for his leadership in recognizing that we had two significant areas that needed immediate attention and that a critical mass of legislative support would require advocates for both dam repair/removal and coastal infrastructure improvements needed to combine efforts to be successful.  This specific grant for Marshfield's Brant Rock village will ensure that we repair two significant seawalls that protect critical infrastructure and promote public safety."

"I appreciate the Patrick administrations ongoing commitment to protecting lives and livelihoods,” said Representative Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “There is no question that these funds are desperately needed by our communities and I applaud the legislature for their work in this effort as well."

Below are lists of the grant and loan recipients.

RecipientProjectGrantLoanProject Summary
BellinghamOld Mill Pond Dam Removal$188,000$312,000This dam removal project will restore the natural stream flows, resulting in more than four miles of stream channel along the Charles River to be reconnected.
BrookfieldSaw Mill Pond Dam Repair$6,750$173,199This grant will help repair deteriorating walls, leaks and damage caused by sinkholes along the crest of the dam.
CantonShepard Pond Dam Repair$665,000$335,000Originally constructed in 1880 to power a mill, the Shepard Pond Dam is now deficient structurally and hydraulically. With these funds, the dam will be repaired and upgraded.
Fall RiverRattlesnake Brook Dam Removal$46,474 These funds will help remove the Rattlesnake Brook Dam, which will provide passage for fish and other wildlife, enhance the security of the recently rebuilt Narrows Road and establish a native riparian wetland community.
GloucesterBabson Reservoir Dam Removal$146,000$845,000The Babson Reservoir Dam was constructed in the 1930’s to create a reservoir for the community’s drinking water supply. Repairs to this structure will significantly enhance public safety, since a breach could inundate a portion of the city with floodwaters.
HollistonHolliston 3 Towns Dams Repair - Design Project$73,500 The grant will aid Holliston’s efforts to design the repairs of three town-owned dams to ensure current safety requirement compliance. These historic dams protect a dense area of homes, small business and industrial development. The structures include the Hougton Pond Dam, the Lake Winthrop Dam and the Factory Pond Dam.
LancasterBartlett Pond Dam Removal-$116,000The Bartlett Pond Dam is classified as a Significant Hazard Potential dam. Its removal will eliminate this hazard and restore a healthy aquatic habitat.
NorthamptonUpper Roberts Meadow Reservoir Dam Removal$75,000 This award will help remove the dam, which will reopen the passage of water and re-establish a healthy aquatic habitat by restoring natural flow patterns.
PlymouthPlymco Dam Removal on Town Brook-$730,743The Plymco Dam is in close proximity to many homes and classified with Significant Hazard Potential. This grant allows for the removal of the dam, ensuring public safety and environmental restoration of the area, and allowing for resurgence of struggling native fish populations.
WarehamParker Mills Pond Dam Repair$164,995  
WorcesterPoor Farm Dam Removal$240,000 This grant enables the removal of the Poor Farm Pond Dam, eliminating an unnecessary, obsolete structure in poor condition.
Westfield Water ResourcesGranville Reservoir Dam Repair $1,000,000The Granville Reservoir Dam is classified as a High Hazard Potential dam that could cause severe risk to 2,600 properties and compromise Westfield‘s public water supply in the event of failure. The dam’s repair will greatly minimize the potential for failure, which almost occurred during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

 

RecipientProjectGrantProject Summary
HullStoney Beach Seawall Reconstruction$2,750,000These funds support the reconstruction of over 2,500 feet of seawall critical to the protection of Hull Village, Pemberton Point and the community’s wastewater treatment plant.
MarshfieldHewitts Point Seawall  Revetment – South Repair$488,000These adjacent seawalls are critical to the protection of Ocean Street, public utilities and key transportation routes servicing this neighborhood as well as the nearby Brant Rock business district. The seawall is the last line of defense against a coastal storm surge and a key evacuation route during emergencies.
Oak BluffsNorth Bluff Seawall Repair$3,600,000The grant will help fund the repair and rehabilitation of the North Bluff Seawall, damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Repairing this structure helps protect public utilities and Oak Bluffs waterfront including transportation and ferry access, critical to the community’s economic health.
RockportPigeon Cove Breakwater Repair$14,000Severely damaged in a 2010 storm and the February 2013 blizzard, the Pigeon Cove upper breakwater and harbor entrance are vital to both public and commercial assets as well as public safety. This grant will help leverage over $1 million in federal funds for repairs.   

 

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