Oak Bluffs was awarded $200,000 in state money this month to protect key components of its wastewater system from storm damage.
The town was one of 10 communities to receive a Coastal Community Resilience Grant in a new state program to address climate change.
The town received the whole amount it asked for, which it will combine with matching funds in the amount of $62,000 which were approved at town meeting last week. The matching funds were a requirement of the grant.
The money will be used to protect the electric panels that control the town’s major pumping systems from storm damage. These pumps serve nearly the entire community.
“It’s going to prevent the electrical panels from being flooded,” said Gail M. Barmakian, wastewater commmissioner in town. “It will ensure the running of the wastewater system in a severe storm like Sandy.”
During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, water came within six inches of the panels, said James Monteith, facilities manager at the wastewater department.
When the project is complete, the electric controls currently located at the harbor will be relocated to the bathhouse, a structure that will protect them from a storm surge.
The funds will also pay to have a permanent generator mounted at the Dukes County avenue pumping station. That way, if the electronic controls are compromised in a storm event, the generator can take over. The town had been using a portable generator.
The wastewater department hopes to have the project completed by hurricane season of 2015. Mr. Monteith said he hopes the electrical conduit can be shot underground without having to tear up the road.