SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The costs to clean up and rebuild continue to mount nearly four months after the June first tornado. Officials estimate the city’s total costs to be about $106 million. According to Finance Director Timothy Plante to this date the city has spent about $10 million.
“I think everyone has pulled together. We have a tremendous effort in tornado recovery in Springfield,” said City Councilor Mike Fenton.
Thursday night the City Council Planning and Finance Committees met to get updates from various city departments on the costs of the rebuilding and planning process.
“On the city side we hope to have the planning process completed by the end of December then we will implement our plans,” said Ed Pikula, Springfield City Solicitor.
The DWP and Engineering Departments are just two of the19 city departments involved in the clean up. Their crews have been working since June and have so far removed 150,000 cubic yards of debris at a cost of about $8.5 million.
“It’s been a very big strain and I know at the DWP people have done a fantastic jobs on that it seems slow, but it is a painful process,” said Chris Signoli, City Engineer.
FEMA is expect to reimburse the city 75% of the money spend on tornado clean up. The Finance Department will be submitting their report to FEMA within the next few days. Meantime, despite having to wait for the money City Councilor Mike Fenton says the city will pay it’s bills.
“In the long term the city will be able to recover from this, but in terms of cash flow we can pay the bills that is out the door if there is a delay in getting that money,” said Fenton.
City officials expect to get the FEMA reimbursement money in about six months.