On September 27, 2023

After initial denial, FEMA to cover Hartland road repairs

 

By Curt Peterson 

Hartland Select Board Tom Kennedy said the had extended the qualifying period for flood damage coverage to include the town’s July 21 road damage.

Hartland had survived the July 17 deluge with little or no damage, but the subsequent storm four days later devastated roads and culverts.

At the previous board meeting, acting Town Manager Martin Dole announced FEMA’s official rejection of Hartland’s request for road repairs funding because damages occurred outside the July 17 event time limit. The cost of repairs would have to be paid from the highway budget, resulting in a $300,000 deficit.

The Mountain Times contacted FEMA to determine the actual status. BriannaSummer Fenton, FEMA media relations specialist, wrote, “Since Hartland is located in Windsor County and they have sustained damages due to the July 21 storm they are eligible to apply for FEMA assistance. Our incident period was just extended yesterday, Sept. 19.”

Dole told the Mountain Times Hartland has already paid out $133,000, but the total cost of the July 21 storm is estimated to be $300,000. Outside contractors are now working on the repairs, and the town highway crew has gotten back to regular road maintenance.

Regarding ongoing work, Dole said, “The cash is there to pay the invoices, so they will not go unpaid. The highway fund account will be replenished from the highway reserve fund, which has plenty to cover them.”

Hartland must now file an application for reimbursement, including documentation of funds spent and descriptions of projects.

Select Board Chair Phil Hobbie told the Mountain Times the town has an application file. “Is it complete? No. There are still back-ordered culverts as of two weeks ago. Otherwise, (Dole’s) log, photos and receipts are up to date and ready for submission.”

 

 

 

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