The town of Hardwick has come a long way since its days as a hub of mill activity but much of its infrastructure - especially in one of its four villages, Gilbertville - is a sharp reminder that the area was built to accommodate that industry.
"We are working with the town to correct infrastructure issues from its mill days," said Chris Dunphy, Principal Planner and Manager for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
To that end, the town has undertaken a number of crucial projects to improve its water connections, its sewer lines and its roads and it is the stimulus program that has ensured that these projects get done.
The town received a stimulus-funded $854K Community Development Block grant which it has put to good use. It has replaced 800 feet of water mains along Route 32 in Gilbertville and was able to provide service connections to adjacent users.
Recovery Act Impact: Hardwick, MA
The town also plans to rebuild its pumping station with the grant. "ARRA is taking care of the most critical needs here in this town," said Dunphy.
The Recovery Act is also ensuring that vital road work gets done here. Hardwick's main artery, Route 32, was in real need of resurfacing and thanks to two stimulus grants, the project was completed.
A $657K award covered the resurfacing of a mile of Route 32 from Hardwick to the New Braintree border. Another stimulus award of $1.6 million enabled resurfacing work to be done on a six-mile stretch of Route 32 from Hardwick to the Barre town line.
According to Michael McCabe, an engineer with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the resurfacing was done with a latex pavement that lasts longer than traditional material. He noted that the projects were completed on time and on budget.
"The projects went really well," he said.