Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Storms May Have Cost City $500,000

The Finance and Government Operations Commission meeting last night approved an appropriation of $250,000 to cover costs related to the clean-up from Tropical Storm Irene and Storm Alfred. The money will be used to cover overtime pay to city workers, rental of equipment to expedite debris removal, and the hiring of a private contractor to address damaged trees throughout the city.

During discussion with the Council members, Billy Russo, the Director of Public Works, explained that the city is in the process of applying for federal disaster relief money to reimburse these expenses. He said that Bob Dobmeier in his department is collecting information from all municipal departments, including the schools, to submit the expenses to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Russo estimated that the city's storm-related expenses would total about $500,000, and that FEMA would reimburse the city for 75% of this. The council members, as well as Carl Erlacher, Director of Finance, congratulated the city's workforce for keeping the storm clean-up costs so low. Erlacher pointed out that Durham was reported to have spent $600,000 (just on brush removal), and West Hartford as much as $3M.

In response to a question from City Treasurer Quentin Phipps, Russo commented that costs were kept low because unlike other towns, the city did not hire large numbers of contractors to do clean-up.

Russo told the Commission that he expected all brush pickup to be completed soon, "I'm comfortable that by Christmas we'll be done with this."


Anonymous said...

The Middletown police, fire fighters, public works, and anyone else who put their time and effort into helping Middletown citizens deal with this storm, Thank You!
Middletown has always proven to be a great community with great city workers who really put the time and effort into what they do. It was nice to see the city workers go "the extra mile", it's not just a job, it's their community!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who has done work, but I'm still wondering when our brush is going to get picked up in the Westfield section of town. Anyone know? I thought it was supposed to be done by the end of November.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the city saved so much money?? The same way they do with the plow removal...they have the Water Dept. help them, with is not a big deal, but who pays the Water Dept. workers, and the diesel fuel, and truck maintenance. Thats right Middletown water rate payers. If you pay a Water bill your getting hosed. There is no seperation on straight time, only overtime, the sameway its always been. I guess the investigation that is going on does not include why the water dept is always broke or this practice would have stopped....If the water dept is picking up brush, who is making sure the water quality is up to par??? I guess that is not important. I'll boil my water just in case.