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Legislature secures $100K for Housatonic Water Works Relief Efforts
03:55PM / Thursday, November 17, 2022
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.  — The $3.8 billion economic development bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last week includes a $100,000 earmark for Great Barrington customers of a private water company. 
Households served by Housatonic Water Works have been experiencing issues with the quality of their water supply, including discolored water due to manganese contamination and rusted pipe ways. High levels of haloacetic acid, which at high levels and long periods of time can increase the risk of bladder cancer, have also been detected in the water. 
"Our residents deserve access to safe and clean drinking water," said state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli. "While the complexity of this problem warrants greater resources, time, and effort, I'm proud that this earmark will provide direct help to consumers. My office continues to work closely with town officials and the Department of Environmental Protection to explore all possible avenues for long-term solutions."
The earmark was filed and secured by former state Sen. Adam Hinds.
"It is clear more needs to be done to protect access to safe and clean water, so when this bill was before the Legislature this summer we had to act," said Hinds. "I was proud to file the earmark and to work with Rep. Pignatelli to get it across the finish line."
Town Manager Mark Pruhenski expressed thanks to Pignatelli and Hinds for their efforts in moving this funding to the town.
"We're extremely grateful for this funding and look forward to providing some temporary relief to water customers in the Village in the coming year," said Pruhenski. "This seed money will allow us to get to work on short-term solutions while we continue to explore options for permanent improvements to this privately owned water utility that serves over 800 homes and businesses in town."
The town of Great Barrington is developing a plan for the best uses of these funds to directly assist water company customers.
More information on the steps taken by the town of Great Barrington to address the water issues can be found here
The economic development legislation in total would funnel nearly $3.8 billion toward hospitals, housing initiatives, and critical infrastructure investments across the commonwealth.
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