Farmington spent an estimated $2.4 million on debris cleanup, overtime and other expenses associated with the October snowstorm, according to Town Manager Kathy Eagen.
The town hired Michael’s Tree and Loader Service, of Memphis, Tenn., to pick up the 115,000 cubic yards of debris left by the storm. Cost of the contract is estimated at $1.8 million, Eagen said.
Originally, costs were estimated at $1.3 million, but a large number of hanging branches had to be removed from along town right of ways to avoid liability, Eagen has said.
The Board of Education incurred some costs included in the $2.4 million. The cafeteria at the high school, from which volunteers served thousands of people at each meal, lost $20,400, mostly in inventory, Business Administrator Mike Ryan said at a recent Board of Education meeting.
The town should be eligible for 75 percent reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Eagen said the town has also applied for reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration.
The higher than anticipated costs plagued the Farmington Valley, which was hardest hit by the storm, but Eagen said the town was able to save money by choosing Michael’s.
“If the Town went with the State contract, the cost of the cleanup would have been $3.6 million instead of $1.8 million,” she wrote. “Also, because the Town did not hire an outside contractors to monitor the brush pickup and used Town personnel, we saved approximately $300,000.”
Eagen gave credit to town Finance Director Joseph Swetcky for advising the town to go out to bid on the contract and recommending the town do its own monitoring and to Public Works Director Russ Arnold and his staff for doing the work.