The last thing Gloucester public works and public safety crews should have to worry about when combating and cleaning up after a major storm is the cost.
Yet those costs can be considerable — from hiring and scheduling privately contracted snowplows to covering the cost of DPW overtime. And, as Mayor Carolyn Kirk noted, those specific bills and charges have not always been fully maintained in the past.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case last February, when the city — like most of New England — was socked by two feet of snow during the recognized Blizzard of 2013. Headed by Carol McMahon, the city’s part-time emergency management assistant, the Citizens Emergency Response Team — or CERT – volunteers carefully tracked all of the city’s storm-related costs.
That documentation has now been approved for reimbursement by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. And that means that $220,597.66 will be coming back to Gloucester through money provided by FEMA, the federal emergency management wing.
That’s the kind of federal and support Gloucester and its taxpayers deserve, and our thanks go out to the CERT team for a job well done.