© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Williamstown Town Manager: Spruces Lawsuit Dropped

Owners of a mobile home park in Williamstown, Massachusetts that was heavily damaged in Tropical Storm Irene last year have agreed to drop a lawsuit against the town. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

According to Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin, the owners of the Spruces Mobile Home Park Morgan Management have dropped a Motion of Injunctive Relief against the town.

Fohlin says that he requested Williamstown Town Council Patricia Cantor to speak with Morgan Management in July. He said that the Attorney General’s Office was aware of the problem and the request for the property owners to withdraw the case.  Fohlin continues…

Last year, hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene, displacing many poor and elderly residents. Since the storm, only 66 of the original 278 homes remain in habitable condition.

Peter Fohlin says that now that Morgan Management has dropped the case, Williamstown can provide more resources towards helping Spruces residents…

Since the disaster last year, park residents received FEMA funds to help dismantle their damaged homes. Many of the residents of the Spruces were elderly and could not afford to tear down the structures themselves.  Looting and other crimes have occurred in the park, and trash is still abundant.

Bilal Ansari, Muslim Chaplain and Associate Coordinator of Community Engagement at Williams College is one of many who are pitching in the ongoing effort to help clean up the park. As part of the school’s “Where Am I?” program for incoming freshman, Ansari says efforts will be made at the end of this month to help remove debris.

Ansari says the program is aiming not to help one party over the other, but just to provide a much-needed service.

The non-profit Higher Ground, which was formed with a task of assisting Spruces residents find affordable housing after the disaster, is also holding a 1-year disaster remembrance event on August 25th.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.