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Agawam awarded grants to become greener and improve city infrastructure

Date: 10/9/2019

AGAWAM – The state is giving Agawam a hand in becoming a greener community and improving its housing and infrastructure.

State Rep. Nick Boldyga, who represents Agawam, Southwick, Granville, and Russell, announced a $201,133 grant as part of the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program from the Department of Energy Resources.

The grant will be used to fund energy conservation measures, air handling unit filters and controls, LED lighting, and refrigeration upgrades in Granger Elementary School, the Agawam Public Library, and the Department of Public Works Annex Building.

“These initiatives not only save taxpayers money but improve our quality of life,” Boldyga said in a statement. Agawam has been a Green Community since 2017 and has made a pledge to reduce its municipal energy consumption by 20 percent, stated Mayor Bill Sapelli.

 Agawam is also the recipient of a $550,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Under state guidelines, the competitive CDBG program awards funds to low and moderate income municipalities of less than 50,000 residents.

The funds will be used for two separate projects in the city.

At least six buildings at the Brady Village Apartments, an affordable housing complex, will receive new roofs “with new 50-year/lifetime warranty asphalt shingles, ice/water barrier, underlayment, flashings, fittings, drip edges, gutters, and downspouts,” the city said in a press release.

“We’re being proactive,” Agawam Director of Planning and Community Development Marc Strange told Reminder Publishing. Though there have been no complaints yet, he said, the roofs are reaching the end of their lifespans.

The grant will also be used to survey north Agawam’s infrastructure, both above and below ground. Strange said the town will identify and triage projects. Areas being evaluated include the age and condition of water and sewer main lines, drainage, pedestrian access, parking conditions, curbing, street and sidewalk conditions, and opportunities for enhancements throughout the area such as scenic overlooks and sitting areas.

“The infrastructure needs aren’t unique to north Agawam but this is a way to fund these needs in that area,” said Strange. A report will be produced when the infrastructure survey is done. Strange said that the hope is that the identified projects can be worked on with future CDBG grants.

Sapelli expressed thanks to the Baker-Polito administration, state Sen. Donald Humason, state Rep. Nicholas Boldyga, Strange, and Chris Dunphy of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.