Town to seek grants aimed at responding to impacts of climate change

By JEFF PETERSON For The Foxboro Reporter

Further beefing up Foxboro’s ability to leverage future grant opportunities, selectmen this week accepted a proposed planning framework that outlines the town’s response to climate change impacts.

Completing the so-called “municipal vulnerability preparedness program” qualifies the town to apply for annual grant awards that range from $25,000 to $2 million per project, according to William Guenther, an environmental scientist working for the Quincy-based consulting firm Fuss & O’Neill.

In addition to helping develop the town’s planning framework — funded through a separate one-time $17,000 grant — Guenther said the firm will advise town officials on how best to tailor future programs and projects specifically to meet local needs.

These programs involve adaptation and response actions identified and prioritized through the planning process that will guide how the community responds to climate change impacts caused mainly changes in temperature and changes in precipitation.

Priority hazards identified in the framework include flooding, winter storms, wind events and other extreme weather which could have lasting impacts on the local economy, agriculture, infrastructure, habitat and public health.

“These are things that are popping up even now,” Guenther observed.

“We’re going to use the most up-to-date climate projections and data.”

Existing facilities deemed most vulnerable include the dams at Crack Rock Pond, Glue Factory Pond and Carpenter Pond; drainage issues involving the Cocasset Street railroad underpass, the Neponset Reservoir watershed and Foxboro High School; as well as electrical infrastructure at properties managed by the Foxboro Housing Authority.

“It’s important to know these are not the only actions,” Guenther said, adding the entire draft framework is available on the town’s website,

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