Farmington will get FEMA aid for storm damageThe city of Farmington is in line to receive approximately $18,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as reimbursement of costs associated with a June 19 storm that downed trees around the community.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
The city of Farmington is in line to receive approximately $18,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as reimbursement of costs associated with a June 19 storm that downed trees around the community.
This is the first time in recent years Farmington has qualified for a FEMA disbursement, municipal services director Todd Reiten said. Storms are not uncommon during the summer months but cost was not enough to meet FEMA’s threshold even when a tornado ripped through the community in 2010.
“We had more damage before than we did this time and we didn’t get any kind of reimbursement,” Reiten said, “but we got it now because (the June 19 storm) was part of a statewide event and we were able to meet the quota.”
The storm that came through Farmington also hit other communities around the area, including Hastings and Castle Rock. Farmington’s damage was included in an application that covered several communities and counties, Reiten said.
Farmington’s damage was manageable. Maintenance staff was able to do the cleanup without working overtime, which meant the cleanup did not put a financial strain on the city’s budget. FEMA covers overtime hours, Reiten said, but at the time in June there was no way to know the city would later qualify to have that time reimbursed.
The reimbursement comes instead for the cost of wear and tear on the city’s equipment used to clean up the debris left after the storm. For instance, the city had to purchase a new chain saw during the cleanup, so that is covered. The cost to repair a gravel road that washed out in the storm was also among the things covered by FEMA.
As part of the application, Reiten also had to go through and count up the number of hours each employee spent in each piece of equipment. It was a long, painstaking process that at times left him wondering if the application would be worth all the trouble. Earlier this month, Reiten learned Farmington would receive $18,000 as a payment.
“That’s $18,000 the city didn’t have before so I guess that’s worth it,” he said.
FEMA will make 75 percent of the payment; the remaining 25 percent will come from the state. Reiten is not certain when the city will receive the money, nor does he know where it will go in the city’s budget. He would like to see a portion of it set aside for new equipment, but the decision will be up to the Farmington City Council.