Sandy cleanup costs city $1.5 million

Hurricane Sandy cost the city about $1.5 million for debris removal and other expenses, but city officials are expecting to get most of that back in federal reimbursements.

The Milford Board of Aldermen voted Monday night to transfer $1 million from an unallocated fund to cover storm costs. That money is in addition to $500,000 already transferred to pay storm costs.

Most of the money spent so far went for overtime to pay city workers to remove debris from city streets.

An itemized list of Storm Sandy costs includes overtime for police, heath department workers, and firefighters, and even for the city’s building department workers and animal control officials.

Police overtime is listed at $191,000, fire at almost $75,000, and highways and parks at $120,000. And that is only a small part of the list of expenses that followed the heaviest-hitting storm here since the hurricane of 1938.

Milford was one of the hardest-hit cities in the area, Mayor Ben Blake said, especially looking at the number of homes that suffered more than 50% damage and therefore have to be elevated because of federal flood regulations.

He noted that Monday’s allocation transfer should be the last he requests because cleanup is winding down.

“This should be the final allocation to pay for storm costs,” Blake said.

Congress has been battling over releasing money to help communities pay for Sandy recovery efforts, but Blake told the aldermen he is confident the city will receive 75% to 100% of its costs back in reimbursement from the federal government.