Bernardston gets money for road repairs

 

Greenfield Recorder 11/15/2011, Page A01

Grant needs matches to fix intersection near Kringle Candle, School Road

By BOB DUNN

Recorder Staff

BERNARDSTON — The third time’s the charm.

After two unsuccessful attempts to get state funding for capital improvement projects in town, Bernardston has been awarded approximately $675,000 for two separate repair and improvement projects.

“We’re tickled pink,” said Selectman Virginia Budness. “This is long overdue.”

The town was not going to be able to pay for the needed repairs on its own, Budness said.

The first grant for Bernardston is for $275,000 for improvements to the intersection of South Street, Bernardston Road, and West Mountain Road, to aid access to two new businesses at the Kringle Candle Complex.

Those businesses are expected to create 75 new full and part-time jobs, according to Gov. Deval Patrick’s office. Budness said that intersection is awkward and presents visibility problems for drivers.

She said that she wasn’t aware exactly what improvements are being planned, but said that Kringle is trying to make the intersection a safe spot for residents and their patrons.

The grant requires $220,000 in matching funds from Kringle.

Improvements to that intersection have been needed since before the candle company opened its first building in October, 2010, Budness said.

The fast-growing company, started by the Michael Kittredge III, son of Yankee Candle Co.’s founder, plans to nearly double its work force over the next three years, said Campbell. These developments are expected to significantly increase traffic, necessitating improvements to the intersection, town officials said in an earlier interview.

In the second grant, Budness said that about $400,000 has been set awarded to repair School Road, which connects Routes 5 and 10 to the Bernardston Elementary School.

Budness said that the road is too narrow to allow two buses to pass each other and is prone to flooding and potholes.

The town will provide a $45,000 local match for the improvement grant, according to Patrick’s office.

In a statement, Patrick announced 23 new projects in all, designed to promote job creation throughout the state.

Budness said that Bernardston’s Administrative Assistant Hugh Campbell did an extraordinary amount of work trying to get the grants approved.