NEWINGTON, N.H. -- Federal reimbursement to Massachusetts communities for costs associated with last winter’s record snowfall is now at $24,169,912, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said today.
With President Bush’s Feb. 17 declaration, all Massachusetts counties became eligible for federal funding to help reimburse state and local governments, and some private non-profit organizations, with costs associated with clean-up of the record-setting Jan. 22-23 snow storm.
FEMA officials said as applications are processed and verified, they expect the current $24.1 million figure in eligible federal grant funds to the 14 counties to increase substantially.
FEMA’s snow emergency program will provide reimbursement to eligible state and local governments, and some private, non-profit organizations, for up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs for materials (such as salt and sand) and equipment used; and for contracts and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow during a 72-hour period.
“These reimbursement grants will help restore funds spent mostly by state and local governments responding to January’s record snowfall,” said James Russo, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. “Ultimately, the grants will help prepare these counties and communities for next year.”
Eligible grants are disbursed through the state. State and local governments and private non-profit organizations are responsible for the 25 percent non-federal share of the costs.
“In these times of tight or depleted budgets, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will continue to assist all of those affected, as they make their way through this process,” said Cristine McCombs, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.