Brimfield, Sturbridge Receive State Tornado Relief Grants

State and local officials gathered in Brimfield, Massachusetts today to announce over $700,000 in grants for restoration efforts from tornado damage in Brimfield and Sturbridge caused by the June 2011 storm.

The grants are a portion of the $4 million announced by Governor Deval Patrick on the one-year anniversary of the tornadoes this past June. Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan says both Brimfield and Sturbridge will each receive $50,000 for tree planting, and $5,000 for their fire departments, but the rest of the money can be used at the municipalities’ discretion.

“We asked the local officials to decide what was most important in their community to make a difference towards the clean from the tornado, and we’ve seen some great plans. Everyone’s done a phenomenal job here.”

Brimfield will use its $500,000 to repair damaged roads and make drainage improvements, while Sturbridge plans to use it’s $286,100 on debris removal. State senator Stephen Brewer of Barre, who chairs the Ways and Means committee, says the funding was made possible in part by the state’s balanced budget this year. He adds Brimfield would not have been able to fund rehabilitation efforts without additional state assistance.

“This is what a partnership is supposed to be all about. This is what Washington, Boston, Brimfield, and Sturbridge are supposed to be doing for our fellow citizens: to step up to the plate in times of duress.”

Grants were also awarded to West Springfield and Wilbraham this week, and Springfield and Monson were awarded portions of the $4 million fund in June.