FEMA Distributes $3.6M to Spruces ResidentsBy Andy McKeever
05:02PM / Tuesday, March 27, 2012
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has distributed more than $3.5 million to residents of the damaged Spruces Mobile Home Park.
Town Manager Peter Fohlin told the Selectmen on Monday night in his regular report that 104 residents, or more than half of those who applied, received the maximum level of individual assistance, which is between $29,600 and $30,200.
Of the 187 residents who applied for individual assistance, seven received between $10,291 and $19,918; 46 between $1,298 and $9,059; and seven between $504 and $699. Twenty-three were denied assistance. A total of $3,597,195 was distributed.
The low-lying mobile home park was washed out by Tropical Storm Irene last August. As of March 23, only 64 of the park's 226 homes have been restored and reoccupied. About 50 of those displaced residents are currently in housing situations that are not sustainable for long-term, according to Higher Ground Treasurer Catherine Yamamoto.
"We are actively working with over 200 residents of the park. There are many who want to return to Williamstown if they can," Yamamoto said last week. "We're still very concerned about them."
Many others, however, have found permanent housing outside of the state, she said.
In other news, the Department of Public works is ramping up for spring work. Highway crews are currently rebuilding a retaining wall on White Oaks Road, hauled stone to dirt roads to minimize mud conditions and have placed signed on North Hoosac Road in preparation for a road improvement project.
The town also provided the material and labor to install a new business directories and trail maps adjacent to the Spring Street Municipal Parking Lot and on North Street. The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce provided the business director and the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation provided the trail map.
A solar-powered speed readout sign was also installed on Water Street, where members of the Board of Selectmen have previously expressed concerned about speeders and joggers. Another one is expected to be installed on the southern side of Green River Road after the foliage fills in.
April 18 is the last day to register to vote in the annual town election.
The town manager's report is available below.
Williamstown Town Manager Report March 26, 2012