Town Awaiting Word on Flood Mitigation Grants

By Adam Swift

The town is awaiting word on two state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grants it submitted last month to address flooding concerns in several neighborhoods.

Town Manager Tony Marino said the town submitted a $1.2 million grant request for the Morton and Banks streets neighborhood for the design for repairs to help with flooding issues in that area. The town also submitted a $400,000 grant application that would help start some planning and assessment of flooding issues in the Pico area around Fisherman’s Bend, Marino said.

MVP grants provide support for cities and towns in the state to begin the process of planning for climate change resiliency and implementing priority projects.

Applying for the grants has been among the town’s most recent efforts to address flooding and storm surge issues.

“If we are asked to prioritize, my priority will be the $1.2 million for Morton and Banks, which we have put a lot of effort into, and we want to keep that effort going,” said Marino. “If we can get both, great, but if not, we will certainly prioritize Morton and Banks.”

The town recently held two meetings with residents in the Morton and Banks neighborhood, Marino said.

The first was with the eight homeowners along the marsh whose homes continually flood, and the second was a larger meeting with the Woods Hole group that is doing consulting work in the area.

Marino said the meetings addressed the frustrations of those who live in the area, as well as the long-term planning for solutions. He said the residents are looking for some immediate measures to address flooding concerns, similar to what has been taken in the Tilestone and Girdlestone neighborhood.

Marino said he and the police and fire chiefs, along with the public works director, are looking at sandbags and other short-term measures that could provide some relief.

The design and implementation of flood relief measures in Morton and Banks could take three to four years, Marino said.

“But something we can do immediately to help out during the storm surges and the heavy rain events would be helpful,” Marino said.

In other business, Marino said the Sumner Tunnel closure for repairs  this summer is scheduled for one month, from July 5 to August 5.

“That is a month less than what they originally thought, and last summer they (closed it) for two months,” said Marino.

However, Marino noted that there will be some additional weekend closures before July 5. While the Sumner will not be closed the coming Mother’s Day weekend or Memorial Day weekend, it will be closed the weekends of May 17, May 31, June 7, June 14, and June 21.

There will be discounted Winthrop ferry rates and the Blue Line and East Boston ferry will be free during the month-long closure.

Marino said it has not yet been determined what the discounted rate will be for the Winthrop Ferry this July. Last year, the ferry rate was $2.40 during the Sumner Tunnel closure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.