Fiorentini Seeks Public Input on Spending $71,000 in State Grant to Combat Climate Change Effects

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Haverhill is asking for resident input in how to spend $70,600 from a new state grant aimed at combatting climate change effects.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the city will develop plans to modernize its infrastructure and enact measures to combat global warming at the local level. He said the city will hold a public listening workshop in the next few months to gather input from residents and consider potential climate change projects.

“My administration is focused on being environmentally conscious and responsible, and this new grant, on top of our Green Communities grant and designation, is another important step in that direction,” Fiorentini said. “Whether its planting more trees or cleaning the Merrimack River or installing electric vehicle chargers for the public or upgrading to energy-efficient LED bulbs in our streetlights and schools, Haverhill will continue to be a ‘green’ leader.”

Haverhill is one of 38 communities to be awarded a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant this year through the state program. Created by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017, the program provides cities and towns with technical support and funding to define extreme weather and natural and climate change hazards, identify existing and future community vulnerabilities and strengths and develop and prioritize actions and opportunities to reduce risk and build resilience.

Once Haverhill completes the planning process, it will become eligible for follow-up funding opportunities, including action grants and preferred standing in other grant opportunities. As examples, some communities have employed stormwater upgrades, dam retrofits and removals, culvert upgrades, drought mitigation and energy resilience measures, mosquito control initiatives, wetland restoration, floodplain protection and modernizing and adapting existing infrastructure.

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