Emergency Generator Now in Place at Mettawee Community School
A recent dedication at the Mettawee Community School (MCS) in West Pawlet celebrated the new 20-kW Kohler Power diesel generator made possible by a $48,000 FEMA Hazard Mitigation grant to the Town of Pawlet, along with $16,000 in private matching donations. After Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 when many parts of Pawlet were isolated by flooding, the Town recognized the need for an additional overnight shelter site. MCS is ideally situated for this purpose. Pawlet Emergency Management director Bob Morlino explained that the generator will enable the Town to use the school as an emergency overnight shelter for Pawlet residents and those in surrounding communities. The generator also means that Pawlet will be able to locate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the school for use in town-wide emergencies. A second grant of $6,800 was also recently awarded to the Town of Pawlet for radio equipment to be used by the EOC. The radios will be installed in September. Both Morlino and MCS principal Brooke DeBonis emphasized the community-wide scope of the project and thanked everyone who participated: the many private donors and volunteers for major fundraising efforts at Consider Bardwell Farm and the Pawlet Station Restaurant, and a music event with Duane Carleton and the fourth-grade flower bulb sale at the school; as well as local contractors Matt Waite Excavation, Tyler Electric Security and Jim Sheldon Excavating, who generously gave reduced rates for their time and materials. Also recognized were members of the school staff, including teacher Dawn Robertson and custodians Bill Wood and Jim McGraw.