PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- More Maine counties have been added to the list eligible for financial emergency assistance for snow removal costs incurred during the December record snowfalls, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced.
Under Secretary Michael D. Brown, Department of Homeland Security , Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the additional assistance was approved based on a review by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
The new list adds Androscoggin and Washington to the nine counties already eligible for snow removal funding for the storms that occurred the weekend of Dec. 6-7. The 11 are Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, and Washington.
In a separate declaration covering the record snowfall of Dec. 14-15, seven counties (Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington) became eligible to receive funding for snow removal costs incurred on those dates.
“Briefings are planned to help local officials in these two counties understand eligibility requirements and the reimbursement process,” James N. Russo, Federal Coordinating Officer for the emergencies, said. “Other sessions for the other counties have either taken place or are scheduled.”
Under President Bush’s January 15 and January 27 emergency declarations, FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and local government agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow. Local officials can select the 48-hour period for snow removal expenditures to be used for determining the amount of financial assistance.
Units of government such as county, city and township governments may receive reimbursement for snow removal from emergency routes and other primary roads for emergency vehicle use. Eligible expenditures can include, but are not limited to, de-icing, salting and sanding operations.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.