Seven Projects Submitted to FEMA

By Jann Wiswall

At a special meeting held on Monday, Sept. 29, the Town of Mansfield board authorized Town Supervisor Bob Keis to sign another contract with Simmons Recovery Consultants (SRC) to continue its work for the town.

SRC was hired to help the town more accurately assess damages to town roads, bridges, drainage ditches and culverts that can be attributed to heavy storms last May. To date, SRC has identified an estimated $343,500 of damages, which are being submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reimbursement.

In addition, SRC is estimating costs to mitigate problems that are likely to persist or recur unless long-term fixes are made. Those figures are in addition to the damages estimate.

As of the special meeting, SRC reported it had submitted seven of 16 projects to the agency, totaling $181,788. SRC representatives estimated they would need another two to three weeks to submit the balance of the projects.

(Originally, SRC identified 17 projects; two were combined into one.)

Once FEMA has SRC’s documentation, it begins its process of approval and payment – a process that takes as many as 14 weeks.

The board originally signed a contract for $30,000 on Aug. 18 to get SRC started. A $10,000 extension of that contract was approved on Sept. 20 on the condition that SRC attend the special meeting on the 29th with better documentation of progress. Satisfied that adequate progress is being made, the board authorized Keis to sign another contract for $15,000 that takes the firm into the week of Oct. 20 to complete the task.

At its regularly scheduled board meeting on Oct. 20, the board and SRC will again review the progress report and will have a better idea of when the project submissions will be complete.

A second phase of the process, involving SRC’s review of FEMA’s own project descriptions, will begin as soon as those FEMA documents begin to come in.