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Lewisboro Seeks $100,000 in Irene Aid From FEMA

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Lewisboro officials met with a FEMA coordinator last week and said they hope to recoup approximately $100,000 spent on coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

The town put in an application for reimbursement from FEMA on Sept. 30 in order to get a claim number. Since then, officials have been going over the numbers from its various departments while trying to follow FEMA stipulations for the reimbursement.

“You look at what projects you had because of the storm,” said Supervisor Charles Duffy. “You look at things like overtime, which is easier to track. With things like infrastructure damage you would need to get estimates, but the good news is we didn’t have any of that.”

The highway department claims approximately $80,000 in reimbursements, while the parks and rec department seeks $10,000 to $15,000 and the maintenance department looks for around $8,000. Figures from the police department were not yet available. When the total claim is finalized and approved, the town will have pay for 12.5 percent of it. The reimbursement should be made sometime the first quarter of 2012.

Town Councilman Peter DeLucia said the town has 60 days from Nov. 21 to file its request with FEMA and officials will meet again with the agency’s representative on Dec 5 to review the application.

Duffy said the town has not set up any claims for FEMA reimbursement for the Halloween weekend snowstorm and is not sure if it will.

“It’s not a $100,000 event – it’s thousands of dollars,” he said. “It’s nothing that will cause us to have cash flow issues.”

Duffy said that a meeting between northern Westchester County town supervisors to discuss lessons learned from Irene had to be cancelled as a result of power outages caused by the October snowstorm. He said the town hopes to work with NYSEG to prevent catastrophic power outages from happening again.

“We’d like them to maintain their tree-trimming program around their utility pole easements,” he said. “If they don’t, it will happen again with the next ice storm.”

Duffy also said he would like to see embedded NYSEG crews in each town’s highway departments so they can go out as a team with local personnel.

“That way we can work with them,” he said. “Our delays were due to logistics and the coordination of those efforts.”

Duffy said that he and Town Councilman Frank Kelly recently met with the town’s fire chiefs to discuss emergency preparedness and revisit the plan.

“The emphasis was on communication,” he said. “That was the biggest flaw.”

Duffy said he’s been working with state Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Robert Castelli to enlist NYSEG’s involvement in preparing for future storm-related power outages.

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