Gov. Janet Mills’ office has announced almost $20 million in state money is going to more than a dozen communities — including Winslow and the Anson-Madison Sanitary District — to shore up infrastructure against the effects of climate change.

The Maine Department of Transportation is providing the grants to help make infrastructure more resilient against flooding, extreme storms and rising sea levels that are increasing in frequency.

Winslow is expected to receive $2.7 million and the Anson-Madison Sanitary District is slated to get $842,000.

Mills’ office announced the funding last week.

Winslow Town Manager Erica LaCroix said the town will use the money to increase the capacity of its stormwater system, which will ensure water can flow more freely away from roads, homes and other places where flooding has occurred, such as the McDonald’s and Cumberland Farms parking lots on China Road.

The town is focusing on Cushman Road and Robert Street, which drain near McDonald’s and Cumberland Farms during heavy storms, causing property damage, she said. Fixing the drainage in those areas is expected to mitigate flooding farther downhill.


“It sounds like an awful lot of money to just address pipe and concrete structure, but it literally will take that much to dig up the roads, install the new culvert structures and pay engineers for designing the flow of the water coming down from the neighborhoods,” LaCroix said.

She said she expects to see flooding occur more regularly.

“This money will allow us to finally get in there and bring the stormwater system up to capacity,” LaCroix said, “so that we can help protect the neighborhoods and the businesses that are in that area.”

She added, “We are just really thankful to be able to get this funding and address flooding issues that have gotten progressively worse over time, especially since we know that it’s going to continue into the future.”

Dale Clark, general manager of the Anson-Madison Sanitary District, said the district plans to use the state money to upgrade its stormwater system, eliminating excessive inflow into the wastewater treatment plant.

“This will help Main Street Madison during heavy rain events,” Clark said.


The pipes now used by the sanitary district are 15 inches in diameter. Clark said the plan is to install pipes up to 30 inches in diameter.

“The pipes currently are too small,” he said. “So what happens is, the pipe becomes so full it can’t take any more water, and Main Street Madison ends up flooded.”

The adoption of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972 led the town to build a treatment plant, but over time, rainwater and sewer water ended up being mixed together. Now, the sanitary district just treats sewer water, not stormwater.

Clark said the size of the pipes and the old stormwater infrastructure have been problems for 20 years.

“The goal is to keep the Kennebec River clean,” Clark said. “We treat the water from all the homes in Anson-Madison and remove all the contaminants before it’s discharged back into the river.”

The state funding for the sanitary district was the first of two such announcements by the governor’s office, which announced Monday another $22 million for communities to repair or upgrade wastewater treatment facilities.

As a result, another $2.3 million is earmarked for the Anson-Madison Sanitary District for this purpose.

Also awarded money in the latest round of funding: Hartland, which is to receive $1 million, and Pittsfield, which is to get almost $500,000.

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