October Snowstorm Expense Break Down

The total amount comes to $536,579.49.

Tolland's price tag for the October snowstorm is in, with estimates showing that the town owes a projected $536,579.49 in overtime wages and supplies, in addition to future costs for continued clean up.

However, according to the report submitted to Tolland Patch by Town Manager Steven Werbner, the town is only anticipating a final payment of $134,144.87 due to expected funds from FEMA. As Werbner said at , there is a lag between reporting damages to FEMA and receiving the predicted 75 percent compensation.

The town paid overtime wages to public works, public safety and human services employees, which amounted to $95,134.07. Supplies for the storm cost $80,056.09, and the town is estimating that it will spend another $350,000 to remove hanging tree limbs and chip all of the debris.

Check out the attached PDF for a more detailed break down of the storm's costs.

Jim G. November 28, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Half a million dollars for cleanup? Just cleanup? No repairs, replacements, significant supplies or equipment... just tree and branch removal? Basically all labor costs? Maybe the extent of the storm damage within town escaped me, but this figure seems out of whack.
Jayme Kunze November 28, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Hi, Jim. I think my first line was a bit unclear so I already edited it, but to clarify, only some of the cost is for clean up. A portion is for overtime wages during the storm, including public safety and human services employees who were running the EOC and town shelters. Another portion is designated as supplies. Sorry for any confusion!
Jim G. November 28, 2011 at 07:45 PM
$350,000 or so still seems excessive. I drove over many of the town's major roads in the aftermath of the storm and even factoring my observations to include the roads I didn't see doesn't seem to come up to that level. I saw almost no cleanup activities in the first 3-4 days. On Buff Cap and Old Stafford we drove around (and, eventually, over) simple downed branches for days, until they were sawdust in the road. I don't know what town crews were doing in that time but if they weren't clearing major obstructions on major roads that did not involve powerlines, I'd like to know what it was. It seems that a lot of the cleanup would fit into regular town servicing and not require somewhere towards a half-million in extra salaries and overtime. The leisurely pace of getting on to the cleanup should not be balanced by an immense amount of overtime to the same crews!
Josh Freeman November 28, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Jim, Tolland is fortunate to be limited to this amount. Manchester, for example, will be spending $500K AFTER their 75% FEMA reimbursement - their original price tag is estimated to be ~$2M (according to Courant article, "Towns In Costly Race To Clear Storm Debris Before More Snow Falls", dated 11/11). I think it's worth pointing out that Tolland's recent Neighbor to Neighbor cleanup day and the efforts of the residents to take care of their own debris removal/cleanup is saving a lot of money (More then halving the financial impact) - But it is still costly. As mentioned above a large part of cleanup cost is the grinding and handling of all the debris that is currently located at Cross Farms. Regards, Josh


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