Stockbridge weighs pulling $200,000 from free cash for flood repairs

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STOCKBRIDGE — Voters at Monday evening's special town meeting will be asked to approve $200,000 in certified free cash to cover the costs of severe flood damage during the May 29 deluge.

The Select Board and the Finance Committee have signed off on the spending proposal, said Town Administrator Jorja-Ann Marsden. A simple majority of registered voters is needed for approval at the 6:30 p.m. meeting in the Town Offices.

An intense, two-hour rainstorm that stalled over the immediate area dumped more than five inches of rain on the town, causing deluges in flood-prone areas along Route 183 in Interlaken. Much of the downtown business center as well as the Town Offices parking lot and lower level were hard hit as well.

Normal rainfall for the entire month of May is four inches.

A state of emergency was imposed to jump-start possible applications for federal or state reimbursement to cover at least some of the cleanup costs. Emergency Management Director Chris Marsden, who's also the town's facilities manager, coordinated the effort.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's regional director, Patrick Carnevale, responded quickly and toured some of the damaged areas a few hours after the storm hit.

Whether the town will be deemed eligible for assistance is uncertain, Marsden said.

At last Monday's Select Board meeting, a half-dozen residents from the Interlaken vicinity implored the Select Board and the Highway Department to seek a more permanent solution to the chronic flooding problems in their neighborhood. Town leaders agreed to prioritize their concerns.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.


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