Towns Get $$$ For Climate Change Planning

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Seventy-one percent of the state’s 351 cities and towns have now received state grants to identify and address their climate change vulnerabilities, the Baker administration announced last week as it awarded municipalities $12 million, including nearby Merrimac.

Sixty-five communities received a total $1.7 million through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program for a planning process to identify vulnerabilities and “priority actions,” while $10.3 million was distributed among 34 communities that have already completed the planning process and are ready to implement resilience projects.

The planning grants ranged in size from $15,000 each for Douglas, Dudley, Hadley, Hamilton, Maynard, Medway, Merrimac, Norfolk and Templeton to $102,000 for Fitchburg. The action grants include a recommended $1.5 million for resilience preliminary design, technical analysis and pre-permitting at Boston’s Moakley Park; $960,000 for Mattapoisett’s Pine Island Pond Watershed lands project; $1 million for Millbury’s Armory Village Green infrastructure project; and $150,000 for reforestation and tree resilience in Concord.

A bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker that would raise the real estate transfer excise tax to fund municipal climate change products had a hearing before the Revenue Committee last week, while the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee held a hearing on a similar bill filed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo that would gather its funds through bonding.

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