Bridge Grant not on first cut list, but wait-listed

Mike Soraghan, Town Engineer,  heard from the State today that North Reading DPW’s grant application to replace the Rt 62 bridge was not recommended for initial funding, but was put on the waitlist should FEMA provide additional funds for this year’s applicants.
This is disappointing news.  However, I spoke to our contact at DCR today and there is still a glimmer of hope for this year’s FEMA award amount to increase because final tabulations are still coming in of costs for last year’s Mother’s Day Flood.  Within a month we will know if there was any additional funding and whether our project will be recommended on a supplemental list.
According to our contact,  this is “a very strong project” and they had tough decisions to make this year.  They had roughly $12 million in funds requested and $3.3 million to give out.  $4.4 million dollars worth of projects are on the waitlist – hoping for additional funding.  We are on that list and there is no official priority.  Over $4 million dollars in projects were denied.
We are getting closer, and I am confident that both Benevento’s culvert and the bridge at Rt 62 will be replaced.  Wilmington’s written support and Charlie Benevento’s commitment were important steps achieved thanks to the persistence of Mike Soraghan and Paul Cameron.
We simply will not give up.   
Thank you to all of you who wrote letters of support and made calls.  We may need them again, because if we don’t get it this year…WE’LL BE BACK!
Janet Nicosia
Martins Pond Association
Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee

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