Nashua to be reimbursed for Nemo expenses
NASHUA - With more snow and a nearly $1.3 million winter budget just about expended, Nashua was prepared to dip into a snow trust fund to ensure plowing would continue, but on Tuesday officials were told that the federal government will reimburse the city for most of its expenses related to winter storm Nemo.
Mayor Donalee Lozeau said it is a relief that the city wont have to dip into the snow trust fund, an emergency fund set up for winter services, after being told the city is eligible to be reimbursed for the $250,000 spent on Nemo.
"Typically it is a 75 percent reimbursement," Lozeau said. "Without this we would have had to go into the trust fund, and I am relieved we wont have to. While it is there for exactly this purpose and shows the wisdom of having it, it is always good not to use it. This way you're not competing with dollars (during budget season) to make sure you can replenish it."
Lozeau said the city is in the process of filing to be reimbursed for Nemo with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and that she expects a final determination to be made on how much the city will get in 30 to 90 days, after which she said the funds will soon become available.
Lozeau said she wouldn't guess as to how much the current snowstorm will cost the city. She said the city has spent "close to $1.3 million this winter."
With a budget for snow removal totaling $1.27 million and over 70 pieces of owned and contracted equipment, the Nashua Department of Public Works has 700 lane miles of road stretched out over 1,400 streets to cover and spread between about 85 employees.
To supplement the city's snow removal force ,the city contracts 15 to 20 pieces of equipment during a bad storm.
Despite the million-dollar budget, Department of Public Works Director Lisa Fauteux previously said that a bad storm can easily cost the city well over $100,000.
Lozeau has said this winter that she has been happy with the work the DPW has done on snow removal.
"I think they are doing a great job. It's always a challenge to see what winter will bring you, and sometimes it is easier to do the really difficult storms like Nemo instead of multiple nuisance storms, when you are constantly sanding and salting a few inches at a time. People don't see them the same way," she said.