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Deerfield First Town To Receive Work Allotment

Greenfield Expects Nearly $50,000 For Roads and Sewers

Civil Works Funds Will Employ Every Able-Bodied Man in Deerfield- Local Welfare Cost May Be Cut in Half

Federal funds amounting to between $45,000 and $50,000 may be allocated to Greenfield within the next few days and create work for at least 300 men, as a result of the conference held yesterday in Boston between the selectmen and Chairman Joseph W. Bartlett of the federal civil works board.

Deerfield, represented by Chairman George Fuller and John W. Heselton won the distinction of being the first town in the state to have funds definitely allocated to it, the request of the town for a sum of about $6,000 for road work being approved about 7 o'clock last evening.

Because practically every city and town in the commonwealth was represented at the meeting in Gardner auditorium yesterday, the civil works board found itself snowed under with applications for funds. This avalanche of requests could not be handled yesterday so that only a few allotments were announced. The board continued its work today, however, and it is expected that the local allotment will be announced within 48 hours.

Quote $48,000

W. A. Davenport, chairman, J. B. Kennedy and A. H. Dobbrow of the selectmen, and Eugene L. Bond, superintendent of highways, presented Greenfield's plans for work to be undertaken which is said to have met with the approval of Chairman Bartlett of the civil works board and funds for this town are expected as soon as the application can be reached by the federal government representatives.

The quota set apart for every community in the commonwealth is based on figures of population and welfare load for each place. Greenfield's quota was said to be approximately $48,000.

Plans for the expenditure of the federal money according to Chairman Davenport, will be divided among several projects. One of these will be construction of surface water drains from the east side of Federal street, starting in back of the public library property, westerly to the Boston and Maine railroad tracks on Chapman street and from the intersection of Federal and Garfield streets westerly as far as funds will permit.

Other portions of the money will be used for gravelling Swamp road from the grounds of Greenfield Country club northerly to the Barton road, and the Barton road northerly to the Bernardston town line.

Employ at Least 300

The completion of these projects by Feb. 1, as required by the government, will necessitate the use of at least 300 men, according to Supt. Bond of the highway department, a similar number of men being employed last summer on similar work for which the town expended about $39,000.

Men now receiving welfare aid, who are able and willing to work, will be given first choice in employment and others will be selected from those having applications filed with the local federal employment office.

The work week set by the federal government is 30 hours and the hourly pay is at the rate of 50 cents.

It is expected that the local welfare department will be able to furnish about 150 men for this work, which should reduce the number of families on the welfare list about half.

The main project which would be carried out according to Chairman Davenport, is the surface sewer from the rear of the library property to the railroad tracks. It is estimated the cost of this work would be $28,000 of which $12,000 would be for material and the remaining $16,000 for labor. The sewer planned would be of the 54-inch type and would handle rain water and ordinary drainage only, leaving the present sewer to be used exclusively in a sanitary capacity. At least 130 men would be needed for this work and owing to the short week schedule more than one gang would have to be employed.

Road Work Planned

This sewer would cross Federal street after passing through the alley, south of the building of the Greenfield Electric Light and Power Co., and continue north of the Lawler theatre. From there it would pass near the former telephone exchange building across School and Davis streets through the Chapman street school grounds to Chapman court.

The gravelling work tentatively planned for the Swamp road would continue over a distance of about one and one quarter miles while the Barton road would extend over a mile of highway surface. The Garfield street work comprises covering the brook which now runs in that vicinity. The completion of this latter project would cost in the vicinity of $50,000. It is estimated, and as funds will be reserved first for the other projects planned it is not believed that this brook work will be extended to any great length.

Deerfield Award

The amount of money allotted Deerfield amounts to $6,219, equivalent to 9,380 hours of work. It is expected that work may begin tomorrow and will give an opportunity for every able bodied man now receiving welfare aid to a secure job. Over 70 per cent of the work planned by the selectmen calls for manual labor.

The projects tentatively planned by the board consist of the River road toward Sunderland, north of the hard surface portion; Pine Nook road and lower road in West Deerfield.

The work will consist of gravelling, building stone base foundation and filling mud holes in dirt roads.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: The Civil Works Administration was one of the most dramatic and radical programs of the New Deal. Organized in November of 1934, it placed nearly four million men and women on work relief projects in six weeks. The program lasted only five months but was an important precursor to the more famous WPA (Works Progress Administration, 1933 to 1935). This article describes some of the initial "allotments" (federal money and jobs) to Franklin County towns. The Daily Recorder-Gazette claims that the program will employ "every able-bodied man [on welfare!] in Deerfield." The goal is to cut the welfare rolls in half. Greenfield's plan to construct a "surface sewer" to handle rain runoff is typical of the labor intensive nature of many CWA projects. Despite its popularity, the CWA was often accused of "leaf raking" or "made work" just to keep the unemployed busy.


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"Deerfield First To Receive Work Relief Allotment" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette
date   Nov 21, 1933
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   2.25"
height   10.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L08.048

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See Also...

"Federal Grants Pour Into Towns For WPA Plans" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Franklin County to get C.C. Corps Camps in Four of State Forests at Once" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette paper

"Deerfield and Bernardston Accept PWA; Northfield Rejects School Proposal" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette paper

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