Sharon Asks State: Help With Storm Tab

Paying for Irene, Halloween snow alone 'likely' creates Sharon budget shortfall, selectmen say.

Selectmen want state help funding Sharon's and snowstorm expenses, totalling more than $110,000.

Selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday night to send the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency a letter requesting support from the agency and for reimbursement of part of Sharon's storm expenses.

Otherwise, Sharon "likely" faces a budget shortfall, which will "limit the town's ability to fund needed capital, educational and operational programs," according to the letter, which selectmen also voted to send to the town's legislative delegation.

Responding to and cleaning up the Oct. 30 snowstorm cost Sharon an estimated more than $60,000, says the letter from the board and Town Administrator Benjamin Puritz.

"We certainly understand the general procedure used in determining damages across the county. However, given the major geographic and climate disparities within Norfolk County, it is reasonable to ascertain that other county areas would not experience the same weather challenges and damages as those sustained in the immediate Sharon-Foxborough areas," the letter says.

"We had crews working for two weeks straight cleaning up from this major storm. We had numerous roads closed and wide-spread long-term power outages throughout the entire town. Therefore, it is our appeal that extraordinary consideration be given to include Sharon in the major disaster declaration and reimbursement process absent a county-wide declaration."

The Aug. 28 Irene storm cost Sharon more than $50,000, the letter says. "These storms were not expected nor funded in our operating budget."

Selectmen Chairman Richard Powell asked Puritz to predict Sharon's chances of receiving state funding.

"We're pursuing it," Puritz replied.


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