By Chris Maza
LONGMEADOW – After recently receiving $1.5 million from the Federal Highway Administration, the town has realized almost all of the reimbursement funding it can expect from the Oct. 29, 2011 snowstorm.
Town Manager Stephen Crane commended a pair of department heads for their dogged pursuit of the reimbursement of money spent to recover from the unseasonable winter storm that caused widespread damage to the town.
“Trying to receive this reimbursement has been an arduous process,” Crane said. “It’s only through the determined work of our Fire Chief Eric Madison, our [Finance Director] Paul Pasterczyk and the help of Congressman Richard Neal’s office that we were able to reach this.”
Crane explained that the $1.5 million is a large portion of the remaining $2.1 million the town has been waiting for. In total, according the Pasterczyk, the town spent $11.75 million and anticipated a total reimbursement of $9.36 million.
“The cash infusion is obviously a huge benefit to our bottom line because that money was essentially borrowed,” Crane said.
Pasterczyk said that the Federal Highway Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation are currently auditing the remaining balance of approximately $600,000.
He added that should the town realize the total remaining reimbursement request, it would end up with more money back than initially expected.
“We were pleasantly surprised when the state sent us $951,000 back about a year ago that was not in our original estimate,” he said.
Prior to the recent payment from the Federal Highway Administration, Pasterczyk explained, the town had received approximately $7.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $951,000 in unexpected state funding and roughly $40,000 from its own insurance company for a total of slightly less than $8.2 million.
With the extra $1.5 million the town has realized $9.7 million in payments, or roughly 82 percent of the total spent on the recovery. Should the town receive all of the $600,000 it expects, that would increase to 87 percent.