FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Towns and cities will get the lowdown next week on applying for aid for the unusual Halloween storm that dropped more than a foot of snow across the region.
The six counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester and Middlesex can receive 75 percent of eligible expenses through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance Program.
The federal funds are made available becuase of the state receiving a federal Major Disaster Declaration for the Nor'easter that pummelled the region over Oct. 29-30, 2011.
The scheduled briefings by FEMA and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will also cover the reimbursement process for municipalities, state agencies and eligible private non-profit organizations for protective measures, clearing debris from public roads and public property, and repairing, replacing or restoring damaged public facilities and infrastructure.
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m.
Berkshire Community College
Auditorium, Room K111
1350 West St., Pittsfield
Friday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.
South Deerfield Fire Station
84 Greenfield Road
Friday, Jan. 20, 1 p.m.
UMass Police Department
585 East Pleasant St., Amherst
In addition, the four counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire, which received record or near-record snowfall from this storm, as determined by the National Weather Service, will also be briefed on Snow Assistance as part of the Public Assistance Program. This PA Program will reimburse cities and towns, state agencies and certain non-profit organizations for 75 percent of the cost of snow and ice removal from public roads for a 48-hour period.
"The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency looks forward to assisting all of the affected cities and towns, and eligible private non-profit organizations in these most affected counties as they continue to make their way through this process," said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. "After a very trying 2011, these funds will go a long way in helping these communities."
Communities are encouraged to send representatives from local emergency management, public works and finance departments since the briefings will explain the reimbursement process in detail. The briefings are expected to last approximately 90 minutes. It is imperative that communities send at least one representative to obtain the necessary forms and information to enable each community to receive proper reimbursement.
Private non-profit organizations located in these counties may be eligible to receive federal reimbursement for their expenses. In order for a private non-profit to be eligible for reimbursement, it must be performing an essential government service and have incurred a minimum of $1,000 in eligible expenses.
All briefings are open to applicants. For assistance in identifying an eligible private non-profit, refer to www.fema.gov or contact the MEMA Disaster Recovery Department at 508-820-2004.
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