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Town Could Soon Receive Reimbursement for Winter Storm Costs

FEMA has approved more than $1 million in emergency assistance claims for a January storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow in Southington.

Southington appears poised to receive federal aid to assist with costs associated with a snow storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow in January after the state announced Thursday that it has received more than $1 million in reimbursements from FEMA.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Thursday evening that the state has been approved to receive $1.046 million for reimbursement to state agencies, local governments and eligible non-profit organizations for costs associated with a storm on Jan. 11.

“I’m pleased that FEMA recognized the severity of the snowstorm Connecticut faced last January 11 and 12,” Malloy said. “In addition to that specific storm, the 2011 winter season proved particularly grueling and costly and I know this funding will be well-received by our cities, towns and nonprofit organizations.”

Southington reported some of the highest accumulation totals throughout the state and although they were able to avoid roof collapse issues seen in other areas, Southington Highway Superintendent Steve Wlodkowski said the costs to remove snow from roads and sidewalks ate up the majority of the town’s snow removal budget for the season.

The Board of Education also reported losses due to snow removal costs.

Any amounts that individual towns would receive were not immediately available Thursday. Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback could not immediately be reached for comment.

Board of Finance Chairman John Leary praised Brumback and Town Attorney Mark Sciota’s work in compiling claims and said he is excited about the possibility the town could receive reimbursement.

“Southington was fortunate to be able to maintain a contingency fund and address the issues without dipping into the rainy day fund, but this would certainly be a welcome reimbursement for excess, uncontrollable costs, “ Leary said.

The FEMA website says that towns may claim assistance of up to 75 percent for snow assistance, debris removal and repair of replacement of town facilities and equipment on a cost-sharing basis under guidelines for emergency protective measures.

Malloy said Thursday that not all claims have been processed and the state could still receive additional funding.

“We were successful in our application process, in large part, due to the responsiveness of cities and towns to our request for data, as well as the work by state emergency management workers,” Malloy said. “We can’t prevent storms from impacting Connecticut during any season, but we can work together to help prepare for them, and provide relief and assistance after-the-fact.”

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