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Clarksburg Recovering from July Deluge
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Tuesday, October 31, 2023
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A break area completed at Town Hall.

The washout by the Horrigan Road culvert has been restored and the work is underway on the West Road damage. 
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The town's recovering from the July 10 rainstorm but the highway foreman cautioned the Select Board on Wednesday that the pot for road work is emptied out. 
Kyle Hurlbut said the Highway Department has already gone over its budget by $35,000 to deal with issues apart from the three big projects on Gleason Avenue, Horrigan Road and West Road. Those funds had been pulled from money leftover from previous jobs approved by town meeting. 
"We've pretty much depleted all that money. I want to make you aware if this stuff happens again, I have nowhere to even pull five grand, 10 grand," he said. "We depleted all our extra funds just on this storm."
Chair Robert Norcross said officials had brought that up to state Sen. Paul Mark when he visited Clarksburg School the week before. He said Mark told him that the state was considering how to help towns affected by the rainstorm. 
The town has gotten some help through the state Department of Transportation which has repaired the damage on Gleason Avenue and Horrigan Road and is working on West Road.
Town Administrator Carl McKinney said the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency had authorized MassDOT to do the work because it was an emergency situation. But the areas could only be restored to their original condition and not improved to stand up to more rain. 
But some culvert work on Horrigan had come out of the regular road maintenance budget, he said. "If we don't replenish those funds somehow, in some manner, there won't be money for potholes in the spring."
Hurlbut cautioned that the repairs on Gleason may not hold.  
"The Gleason Street culvert that runs all through there, it's gone ... it's going to happen again," he said. "Four or five years ago when we did a patch on it, nothing was done and it happened again. Sooner or later it's going to cause bigger problems. I just want to make you aware of it."
McKinney said they were considering applying for a grant through the state Department of Ecological Restoration, which had also supplied funding for the removal of the Briggsville Dam.   
"I think they would be delighted to get rid of a 200-foot long culvert," he said, and Hurlbut agreed it would be a good project for the agency. 
The Town Hall's flooding was covered by insurance to the tune of $51,000. It included new (waterproof) flooring and painting in the Ketchum Meeting Room and first floor office areas, and exterior and interior work to prevent water infiltration.  
"We've done a lot to armor the Town Hall against flooding again, a lot of volunteer time I must say, and then the insurance proceeds were a big part of it," McKinney said.
Officials took advantage of the restoration to move out the administrative assistant, who is now sharing the office with the treasurer, and create a break area in an underused space off the lobby. The lobby now has a couch and the large case made by McCann Technical students for the town's weights and measures has been shifted to another wall, creating more room. 
Town Clerk Marilyn Gomeau, after the meeting, said the employees are happy with the more homey and welcoming feeling in the town offices and that even people coming in seem to have a more positive attitude. 
In other news, Norcross said the town is still hoping to get the $500,000 for the school roof sitting in the 2018 bond bill. He described the tour of the school and discussions with Mark as being positive. 
McKinney said the town would release a request for proposals for the roof to get a more accurate cost for its replacement. 
The culvert work on Middle Road is being completed this fall and the road will be patched to get through the winter; paving will be done in the spring. McKinney asked for patience during the intermittent road closures.
"Obviously it's not a fun deal to be going through but it's necessary and cooperation is always appreciated," he said. 
• The board also approved the liquor license, entertainment license and Sunday entertainment license for the Golden Eagle and an updated fee schedule for permits to bring them in line with other communities. 
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