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Town seeks $150K from FEMA for Irene damage

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 28, 2011 03:27 PM

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The Town of Braintree is requesting over $150,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement of expenses resulting from Tropical Storm Irene.

The town began tallying the costs for numerous Irene-related expenses in order to apply for disaster relief with Norfolk County. In order to obtain any FEMA funding, the county must reach a $2 million damage threshold.

With Braintree’s $150,000 request and numerous other large requests from surrounding municipalities, the town became eligible for funding.

In total, Braintree will request funding for police overtime at $1,218, Braintree Electric Light Department overtime at $88,966, DPW overtime at $23,777, debris removal costs from the DPW at $15,000, and Fire Department overtime at $944. Contracted generators and tree-removal crews ran the town an additional $20,620.

It’s still an early stage of the process, said Chief of Operations and Staff Peter Morin, but the town hopes to get back 75 percent of what it spent due to the storm.

“When we take another look at our numbers, we may add to this, we may not be capturing all the contractor costs or equipment costs, so we just need to take a look back and see what we’ve used,” Morin said.

In the meantime, the town will have to deal with those costs, as well as handle some unexpected projects associated with storm cleanup.

Luckily, as the state’s revenue has come back higher than expected, the government is restoring some of the restricted local aid allocations to many communities.

As such, Braintree will receive an additional $349,954 in state aid, money that will be used for these expenses until any FEMA reimbursement is available.

“We’ve got some expenses that we have to cover in the interim… but we have funds to move around within our budget. We have an additional supplemental appropriation coming in from the state that will help cover those costs, too,” Morin said.

One such “unanticipated expense” will be the clearing of the mulch pile on town land, which was cleared prior to the storm in anticipation of the fall season. After Irene, the debris on the land will need to be cleared yet again

The city will also have to spend money on grinding down stumps and trees from storm cleanup.

Overall, however, the town has mostly moved on from Irene.

Residents with damaged homes are working with their individual insurance companies to fix their properties, and contractors have been repairing those homes for the winter.

“Work is proceeding, and most are back in their homes. But I haven’t heard any difficulties in dealing with any government entities,” Morin said.

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