MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – FEMA money is starting to trickle in to Mount Kisco from Tropical Storm Irene, which occurred in late August 2011.
Mount Kisco was one of a number of Westchester towns that were substantially impacted by Irene. So far, it has received the first portion of the $197,360 it requested from the government, but the money is only coming after a long period of administrative headaches. Village Manager Jim Palmer was tasked with preparing all of the FEMA reimbursement applications.
At a board of trustees meeting Tuesday, Palmer stated that all of the accounting and administrative work was worth it in the end.
“Of all the storm reimbursements that the town has had in the past, this is the most that I’m aware of and we’ve accounted for absolutely everything,” Palmer said. He also pointed out that the amount the village is getting is, in fact, even more than the actual costs incurred.
In the FEMA relief accountings, 75 percent of costs incurred during the relief and reconstruction efforts is paid for by the federal government; 12.5 percent is taken care of by the state; and the remaining 12.5 percent is provided by the village of Mount Kisco. The village contribution comes to approximately $24,706 and represents the man hours put in by Palmer and his office.
“But the way it works with FEMA is that we do get reimbursed for all the administrative preparation time that we put in including man hours at midnight and over timing doing actual preparation,” Palmer said.
He added that the village portion also takes into account the hours he put in during the actual storm.
Nineteen projects were undertaken in the relief effort, and Palmer said putting together that long list of projects and keeping up with accounting was a project in itself. The storm caused a lot of damage and incurred many cleanup and rebuilding expenses: homes, businesses and traffic lights lost power, basements were flooded and home rescues were performed in cases of flooding or fallen trees.
Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich praised Palmer for his work putting together the necessary applications.
“It’s nice to know we were able to collect these monies and not put the village in jeopardy and that’s a big plus and a lot of it had to do with your hard work,” Cindrich said.
Palmer said that the money will continue to come in over the next several months.