Closing date for Williamstown’s Spruces Mobile Home Park set


WILLIAMSTOWN -- In accordance with state law, Selectmen signed a notice of discontinuance that states the flood-prone Spruces Mobile Home Park will close as of Feb. 29, 2016. It’s the latest milestone in the town’s efforts to relocate residents of the park, devastated during Tropical Storm Irene, to "decent, safe and sanitary housing,"

"I don’t think there’s a person in the Spruces or a soul in Williamstown that doesn’t know that, but to be letter of law, we need to send [Spruces residents] this letter." Town Manager Peter Fohlin said Monday.

Under the Massachusetts Manufactured Housing Act, "each resident is entitled to at least two years’ written notice before the discontinuance or change of use will occur."

The town has hired Relocation Agent Trish Smith to help residents find new housing. The two-year contract states that Smith will spend a minimum of 10 hours with each household to assess their case.

A conservation restriction will then be placed on the 116-acre parcel.

The town was awarded a $6.13 million Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant to relocate current residents of the Main Street mobile home park. The storm in August of 2011 destroyed 159 of the 225 units at the park, leaving only 66 now deemed habitable.

Residents overwhelmingly voted to take ownership of the park at a December special town meeting, and on Feb. 1, the town entered a two-year lease agreement with the park’s Pittsford, N.Y., owner, Morgan Management, LLC.

In other business, Selectmen signed an activity and use limitation for the former Photech site, further setting the stage for affordable housing on the Cole Avenue parcel.

Fohlin said that firm Tighe & Bond has studied an environmental "hot spot" by the Hoosic River bank and determined levels of heavy metals that did not require remediation.

Though single-family homes won’t be allowed at the site, multi-family and attached homes, commercial and industrial businesses will be allowed if they do not disturb the soil. Also, growing fruits and vegetables will not be allowed.

Selectmen also:

n Gave their blessing to three bylaw changes proposed by the Planning Board.

n Accepted Public Safety Building Study Committee member Daniel Gendron’s resignation, and appointed Charles W. Fox to the position.

To reach Edward Damon:
or (413) 663-3741 ext 224.
On Twitter: @BE_EDamon


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