Springfield, MA - In an initial tally, more than $1,605,050 has been obligated for snow removal costs incurred in five New England states as a result of the severe President's Day storm according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Local governments, certain private non-profit organizations and tribal governments in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island became eligible for federal assistance as a result of emergency declarations by President George W. Bush.
"To date we have completed and approved more than 80 project work sheets covering snow removal costs from nearly 1,120 applicants in the emergency-declared areas," said James N. Russo, Federal Coordinating Officer of FEMA.
FEMA and emergency management officials from the various states have provided public assistance briefings to prospective applicants. They have explained reimbursable expenses eligible under the declarations, and how to collect and report these expenses to expedite payment.
Eligible applicants can be reimbursed for the costs of operating snow clearance equipment, contractors' costs, and personnel overtime required for a 48-hour period of snow removal. The deadline for submitting applications for assistance is April 26 for Rhode Island. It was April 9 for the other states.
Federal funds supplement local funds to cover these costs. FEMA pays 75 percent of the specific costs eligible under the declarations.
The emergency declarations covered all of Connecticut and Massachusetts, one county in Maine, five counties in New Hampshire, and two counties of Rhode Island. Tribal governments located within these counties are also eligible for disaster assistance along with certain private non-profit organizations.