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.
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."