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Franklin Co. applies for reimbursement of snow-removal costs

April 19, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Franklin County, Pa., submitted a detailed application to have snow-removal costs from February reimbursed by the federal government.

The application was completed in early March, but additional work must be completed with it, Emergency Services Director Dave Donohue said. Notification about the reimbursement amount probably will take a few months, he said.

"Between everyone, the county and municipalities, we submitted just under $800,000," Donohue said.

Agencies can submit applications for things like equipment and personnel costs, as well as repairs needed for damaged snowplows, he said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said nearly $60 million could be available for county and municipal governments that submitted applications for hazard mitigation grants.

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Franklin County is eligible for grants that are designed to help prevent damage from future natural disasters, according to a news release from Rendell.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., distributed a news release last week saying he talked to senior officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asking to bypass "overly restrictive rules that could have denied (Pennsylvania) the funds needed to recover from these historic storms."

"I joined with my colleagues across the state to make the case that federal assistance was in dire need due to the budget-busting nature of the blizzards," Shuster said in the news release.

The storms were indeed budget-busting, Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

"It certainly is important we get money back because of the budget constraints," he said.

Donohue said the county was required to submit for only the worst 48-hour period, although cleanup lasted 10 days. It was only allowed to apply for reimbursement because the National Weather Service classified the weather as a historic snowstorm.

Rendell said he asked President Obama to grant a waiver to the 48-hour rule. A decision on that request was still pending when the news release was issued.

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