Page 15 - BusinessWest September 1, 2021
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 in town has that kind of turnout.”
As the town gradually makes its way out of the pandemic, Stinehart
mentioned a regional grant program undertaken with the town of Aga- wam to provide microlending for small businesses.
“We are encouraging small businesses that need help to apply for these grants,” he said, adding that Agawam is the lead community on the grant.
Looking forward, Stinehart hopes to use funds from the American
The town treated the Congamond Lakes in the spring of 2020 to improve water quality for people clamoring to enjoy the outdoors during the pandemic.
Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address water and sewer projects in South- wick. Fox spoke in particular about a water-pressure situation town lead- ers are hoping to address with the ARPA funds. He said projects like this sound like mundane details but can have real and lasting impacts on the | Fax: 413 731 7268
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   “By letting everyone
know Southwick is
open for business, we
can keep this beautiful
place where people
want to live. It’s all
“If we address the water-pressure problem,
it improves our fire-protection ability and ulti- mately affects homeowners’ insurance rates for residents,” Fox added.
Places to Call Home
The town has more new homes in the works, most notably the Greens of Southwick, where new, homes are being custom-built on each side of College Highway on the property of the former Southwick Country Club. The west side of the Greens development is nearly full, while construction on the east side has not yet begun.
      about that balance.”
Stinehart said he would like to leverage ARPA
  funding to increase broadband infrastructure in Southwick. In a separate effort, the town has met with Westfield Gas +
Electric’s Whip City Fiber division to explore the feasibility of fiber-optic internet service for Southwick.
To address future energy savings for the town, Southwick has applied for a Massachusetts Green Community designation which would make it eligible for grant funding on a number of energy-efficient projects.
The tax rate for Southwick is scheduled to be released in the fall, and Stinehart said the goal is for a single uniform rate that will be competi- tive with other communities “because that’s good for business.”
Despite the issues around Carvana, Fox added, Southwick has wel- comed plenty of new businesses and has seen expansion for some already there.
“By letting everyone know Southwick is open for business, we can keep this beautiful place where people want to live,” he said. “It’s all about that balance.” u
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