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Posted on: December 16, 2021

Town of Longmeadow Awarded State Grants

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For Immediate Release: December 16, 2021

 

Town of Longmeadow Awarded State Grants by

Baker-Polito Administration

Totaling $65,900

 

LONGMEADOW (Dec. 16, 2021) –Town Manager Lyn N. Simmons is pleased to announce that the Town of Longmeadow was awarded a combined total of $65,900 from three state grants from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

 

The Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grant program from DOER will supply $15,000 towards an energy efficiency project at Center Elementary School; DER will provide Dam Removal Preliminary Design Services estimated at $30,000 for the derelict reservoir infrastructure located in Cooley Brook at Laurel Park near Longmeadow Street; and DEP will grant $20,900 from the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program to enhance the performance of Longmeadow’s waste reduction programs.

 

“We are incredibly grateful that the State makes these grant opportunities available. These three separate awards help the Town further important work in the areas of energy and sustainability, ecological restoration and environmental initiatives,” stated Town Manager Simmons. 

 

DOER META Grant Project: Longmeadow was awarded the maximum award of $15,000 to complete a retro-commissioning study of Center Elementary School. The retro-commissioning study will include utility data review, building management systems performance review, and specification development for retro-commission projects. The retro-commissioning study for Center School is anticipated to take 2 to 3 months, as data analyzers will be put into place to monitor systems over a period of time. This project will likely commence in early 2022, and will contribute to a prioritized plan of “shovel-ready” projects via a comprehensive planning process to identify the most effective measures the Town can take to improve energy efficiency in that facility.

 

School buildings comprise the top five public facilities with the largest energy footprints in Longmeadow. Center Elementary School itself has received the fewest upgrades to its energy systems and equipment of all of the Longmeadow schools, and is the most energy-intensive of all of the school buildings. According to Longmeadow’s Massachusetts Energy Insight (MEI) database, Center School is responsible for 12% of Longmeadow’s municipal energy use.

 

DER Dam Removal Preliminary Design Services: DER’s project team of restoration engineers will provide preliminary design services valued at $30,000 for the removal/remediation of aged infrastructure, including a dam, walls and pipes, from an old reservoir system located in Cooley Brook on the western edge of Laurel Park. This project was nominated by a broad coalition of Longmeadow stakeholders, including: Save Our Parks, a resident group committed to improving conditions at Bliss and Laurel Parks; the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), the Connecticut River watershed association; and the Town of Longmeadow Engineering Department and Parks and Recreation Department.

 

The dam and its associated infrastructure block aquatic organism passage and normal sediment transport throughout Cooley Brook. Removing the dam would provide an opportunity to allow the stream to return to a natural meander and to restore native vegetation to stabilized slopes. The reservoir dam and its associated infrastructure act essentially as check-dams, causing the stream flow to slow and pond in that section of Cooley Brook. During high waters, the dam remnants slow water enough that park trails in this area can flood and become impassable. Removing the reservoir dam infrastructure will alleviate flooding that causes proximate trails within Laurel Park to become unusable and will reduce ponding, sedimentation, and localized erosion, thereby reducing major maintenance needs in the future.

 

“CRC is really pleased to be an active partner with the Town of Longmeadow and Longmeadow Citizens Save Our Parks on the restoration of Cooley Brook, a direct tributary of the Connecticut River,” stated Andrew Fisk, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Conservancy. “We are excited that the Division of Ecological Restoration is joining this partnership.  Restoring the health of our waterways has many benefits, including working in partnership which strengthens not only natural but human communities.”

 

DEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program Municipal Grant: DEP will fund Longmeadow with $20,900 to enhance the performance of the municipality’s waste reduction programs. The Recycling Dividends Program provides payments to municipalities that have implemented specific programs and policies proven to maximize reuse, recycling and waste reduction. Municipalities receive payments according to the number of criteria points their program earns based on the 2021 Grant Guidelines and number of residents served. RDP provides an incentive for municipalities to improve their recycling programs by implementing best practices and rewards communities with model recycling and waste reduction programs.

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