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7/22/2015 - Waterbury reaps windfall from this winter's record snowfall

WATERBURY, Conn – With temperatures hovering in the 90s earlier this week, the last thing many of us are thinking about is the snowfall that bombarded Waterbury this past winter.

But it was certainly on the mind of Mayor Neil M. O’Leary when he learned that the record snowfall of 2015 will turn into an unexpected windfall as the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed Waterbury for some of its snow-removal costs.

Mayor O’Leary was recently notified by FEMA that Waterbury will receive $223,549 in federal Disaster Funds for the blizzard that blasted Waterbury from Jan. 26 through 28.

“We are very pleased to receive these funds,” Mayor O’Leary said. “Anyone who lived through the winter of 2015 won’t soon forget it. It was one of the toughest winters many of us will endure but it also showed how dedicated our City employees are – especially those in our Public Works, Police and Fire departments.”

The money will cover labor, equipment and material costs associated with the storm.

Mayor O’Leary praised Public Works Director David Simpson and his staff for documenting City expenses during the storm.

“Their meticulous record keeping allowed us to apply for and receive this much-needed disaster relief,” Mayor O’Leary said.

FEMA, in a letter to Mayor O’Leary, said it found all costs the City listed in its application as “verified” and “reasonable.”

The storm that began Jan. 26 continued unabated for 48 hours. During that time, City crews and private contractors cleared 1,800 lane miles of road a total of five times each, said Simpson, who coordinated snow-removal efforts. The work included plowing, sanding and salting, Simpson said.

FEMA will soon forward the money to Waterbury via a check to the City Finance Director.