SAVOY -- With repairs on parts of Route 116 damaged by Tropical Storm Irene soon to be under way, town officials are hoping November brings good news about a grant that could help accomplish the same for Black Brook Road.
In September, the town applied for a MassWorks Small Town Road Assistance Pro gram (STRAP) grant to defer the cost of necessary repairs to Black Brook Road, a byway to Florida that was savaged by last August’s storm.
Selectmen’s Chair John Ty nan said current estimates for repairs to the road run from $2 million to $3.5 million. The Fed eral Emergency Man age ment Agency (FEMA) has maintained a pledge to cover 75 percent of this cost, but the remaining figure would still leave the town out on a limb financially.
If awarded, the grant could inject $500,000 or more in capital to move the process along.
"We’ll have as good a shot as anyone," Tynan said Monday, describing an application that included input from area representatives and emergency management officials. "A STRAP grant would go a long way in covering the town’s end of things."
Without grant assistance, the town would have to borrow to cover both its own expense and the amount of FEMA’s reimbursement before the payment came through. Tynan said a town meeting will be held before any decisions are made.
Engineers Coler and Colan tonio, Inc., funded by FEMA, looked at the road after the storm, determining that it would again fail if rebuilt to its former state. Since then, representatives from the Massa chusetts Department of En vironmental Protection, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and others have participated in developing a plan for the road, which Tynan said still awaits a "firm decision."
MassWorks grant decisions will be announced by the end of October, according to the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic De velopment.
On Route 116, two awaited culvert repairs dating back to Irene will begin in the coming weeks, wrapping up before snow falls if all goes well, Tynan said.
The repairs will be headed up by the town Highway Depart ment and its newly ap pointed Superintendent Dan iel Labon te. Their $35,000 cost was covered by a grant from the Federal Highway Adminis tration.