For Immediate Release - June 04, 2014

Patrick Administration Awards $200,000 to Monson for Tornado Recovery Efforts

Grant will help fund the construction of a new town hall and police station

BOSTON – Wednesday, June 4, 2014 – The Patrick Administration today awarded $200,000 to the Town of Monson to help construct the new town hall and police station using energy efficient technologies. The building that previously served as both town hall and the police station suffered severe structural damage in the June 1, 2011 tornado.

“Three years after the devastating tornadoes, we remain committed to the impacted communities as they move forward to become stronger than before,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “This grant will help Monson recover and rebuild in a way that will be both cost-effective and sustainable for generations to come.”

After the 2011 tornado, the previous building underwent an engineering analysis. It was determined that the storm caused too much damage and a decision was made to demolish and rebuild on the existing site. The ReBuild Western Mass grant will be used to meet the Stretch Energy Code and go beyond it with high performance insulation and windows. The Stretch Energy Code provides more energy efficient alternatives to standard energy provisions of the building code. Now under construction, the building is expected to be completed this summer.

The grant is funded by Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) received from retail electricity suppliers that do not meet their statutory Renewable Portfolio Standard obligation to purchase a sufficient percentage of renewable energy.

“The Patrick Administration continues to partner with all the western Massachusetts communities to restore the areas devastated by the 2011 tornadoes,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The new town hall and police station will be a symbol of a stronger Monson and we are pleased to be able to help with this rebuilding effort.”

”The new town hall and police station will be a symbol of communities and the Commonwealth working together in the face of disaster to restore services and rebuild with greater energy efficiency,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “The lessons learned from the tornadoes in 2011 will help many others as we roll out our climate preparedness initiative for cities and towns.”

The ReBuild Western Mass program, a partnership between the Department of Energy Resources and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), looked to provide residents, businesses and municipalities with assistance using energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies as they repaired the damage done by the devastating tornadoes.

More than 230 businesses, households and municipal buildings received nearly $1 million in grants to help in this effort, grants that ultimately leveraged more than $17 million in private investment. The ReBuild Western Mass program also funded the planting of more than 1,100 trees to replace a portion of those damaged or destroyed during the storms.

“Natural disasters like the 2011 tornadoes can shake us to our core. They also present us with the opportunity to rebuild in an efficient way,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “This funding will help the Town of Monson continue its rebuilding process, while looking ahead to a brighter future for its community.”

“Residents wanted a building that matched the look of the downtown area and was much more efficient,” said Evan Brassard, Monson Town Administrator. “This grant from DOER allows the community to fulfill both of these desires and the excitement of the community is palpable as we move toward completion in the fall.”

“I am pleased that Monson has received this grant to rebuild its town hall and police station,” said Senator Stephen M. Brewer.  “The Monson community will emerge stronger, and more environmentally efficient, as the result of this project.  I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to rebuild after the tornado, and to keep Massachusetts and its communities at the forefront of energy efficiency.”

"As the good people of Monson have certainly not forgotten the tornado that devastated their community three years ago, I am so pleased that Governor Patrick's administration has not forgotten either. They have remained committed to rebuilding and to making the Town of Monson whole again,” said Representative Brian Ashe.

To date, individuals, homeowners and businesses have received more than $26.7 million in federal disaster assistance to cover uninsured losses. The Department of Housing and Community Development helped hundreds of families find emergency shelter and has so far funded $739,000 in home repair. The Division of Insurance served as a resource and advocate for consumers filing $200 million in claims. More than 98 percent of the 11,500 tornado-related insurance claims filed after the June 1, 2011 storm were paid within the first year, with policyholders receiving $200.3 million from carriers.  More than 81 percent of claims were paid within four months of the storm. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has directed $2.8 million in state funding to repair more than 20 streets throughout the region.

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