FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2007
Schumer: With The City Of Buffalo Sufficiently Meeting All Of Fema's Demands, City Should Be Reimbursed For All Costs Incurred When Removing Tree Stumps Leftover From Last Year's Storm
The City has Adequately Provided FEMA with all Requested Information and Met with the Agency Firsthand
The Cost of Removing the Tree Stumps is Estimated at More than $1.4 million, but the City is Still being Deprived of Reimbursement Funds to Cover Costs
Schumer: FEMA must Overturn its Foolhardy Decision and Help, Not Hinder, the City's Attempt to Finally Clean-up From
With the City of Buffalo sufficiently meeting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) request for additional information pertaining to the city’s ongoing efforts to remove tree stumps from last October’s freak snowstorm, today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Federal agency to approve the City’s appeal for reimbursement for funding to cover the costs of tree stump removal. The cost of removing the stumps is estimated at more than $1.4 million, but FEMA has informed the City that it will not fully cover the costs. The City has appealed FEMA’s ruling and has pleaded its case to both the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and with FEMA - most recently on August 23rd.
Satisfied the City has taken all the appropriate steps towards justifying its appeal, today Schumer sent a letter to David Paulison, Under Secretary of Homeland Security, urging his agency to reimburse the city for funding to cover its tree stump removal costs.
"The City of
As a result of the freak snowstorm that slammed the
Schumer argued that at a cost of $200 per stump extraction, the
This City’s appeal, which was filed on March 8, 2007, has been acknowledged by FEMA and additional information was requested by the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). Subsequently, the City met with representatives from SEMO and FEMA on June 5 and again on August 23. Now that
The City expects to have final bids for full costs of stump removal in by the end of this month. Because of the enormity of the stump problem throughout the City they expect the removal process to take a full year concluding in November of 2008.
Schumer in his letter called on FEMA to not only approve the expense for stump removal but to be sure that the approval allows the needed time to complete the project safely and effectively.
Through the Public Assistance Program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. Under this program, FEMA defines debris removal as the clearance, removal, and/or disposal of items such as trees, sand, gravel, building components, wreckage, vehicles, and personal property.
On October 15, 2006, Schumer visited