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Buckland gets $971,053 for Irene repair

Recorder/Beth Reynolds
William Pelosky, 95, of Deerfield, recites the Pledge of Allegiance at the Veterans Day ceremony in Greenfield. Pelosky and his brothers all served in World War II and were in attendance. Pelosky served 5 years in the Army and more than 30 years in the Civil Air Patrol and Reserves and is an active member of the VFW.

Recorder/Beth Reynolds William Pelosky, 95, of Deerfield, recites the Pledge of Allegiance at the Veterans Day ceremony in Greenfield. Pelosky and his brothers all served in World War II and were in attendance. Pelosky served 5 years in the Army and more than 30 years in the Civil Air Patrol and Reserves and is an active member of the VFW. Purchase photo reprints »

BUCKLAND — The state will help the town pay for infrastructure damages from Tropical Storm Irene with a $971,053 “MassWorks” grant for infrastructure repair for Clesson Brook Road.

Town officials had applied for this grant, which will be used to make repairs that are not covered by the town’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding, which is estimated at $4.1 million, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Clesson Brook Road, which is a major artery for the rural “Upper Buckland” community, suffered several washouts during Tropical Storm Irene, when Clesson Brook and related streams flooded the area, choking culverts and drainage systems with debris.

“It was good news for the town,” said Selectman Kevin Fox. He said the town spent about $50,000 on an engineering study, which provided the premise for this grant award. Fox said the grant focuses on economic development, and the town made the case that the road is heavily traveled by residents of both Buckland and Hawley.

Irene severely damaged roads, bridges and culverts in upper Buckland, including Clesson Brook, Dodge, Forgette, Labelle, Shepard and Charlemont roads.

This town of 1,847 residents is still waiting to learn how much Irene-related infrastructure damage the town will have to pay for. The town could be responsible for up to 25 percent of the storm-damage costs.

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