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Board of Aldermen Meeting Focuses on Hurricane Recovery

Mayor urges home and business owners to register with FEMA.

All eyes were on Irene -- and her devastating effects -- at Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting at City Hall.

The City of Milford’s Board of Aldermen met, mostly to discuss recovery efforts following the devestation caused by Irene, the hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit Milford two weeks ago. 

Early in the meeting, two representatives from FEMA were present, as well as city Fire Chief Louis A. LaVecchia and Recovery Coordinator Bill Richards.  Mayor James Richetelli Jr. addressed the Board of Aldermen with regard to post-storm clean-up. 

Richetelli thanked LaVecchia and FEMA for going home to home, addressing Milford’s recovery “case by case.”

“We have a disaster relief number [for Milford residents and businesses],” said Richetelli, “203-874-6782.”

The mayor followed by introducing the public relations officer from FEMA, Darryl Habisch, and FEMA’s Community Relations Specialist, Chad Hershey.

“Since last Friday [September 9, 2011], these guys have been going door to door… right now, with very preliminary work, giving out phone numbers of how they can be reached,” explained Richetelli.  “They’ve been making their way from West to East.”

Since Sept. 9, FEMA has reached 624 homes, and has spoken to homeowners who were at home in 344 cases.

The phone numbers for FEMA are: 1-800-462-7485; TTY:  800-462-7585.

According to FEMA’s flyer, “You’ll be asked for your phone number for callback, Social Security number, current mailing address, the address of damaged property, brief description of damages, and insurance information (if insured)… you will be asked for the following Disaster Recovery ID#:DR-4023-CT

Although FEMA did not present at Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, they handed out their flyers, and were available early in the meeting to answer questions.

“We encourage every homeowner and business owner in Milford to register with FEMA, whether or not you think you have any damage, whether or not you think your insurance company will cover it.  There may be something down the road that comes up that they didn’t think of, so we encourage everyone to do that [register with FEMA],” said Richetelli.

This is an “all out effort to get our citizens the relief that they need,” concluded Richetelli.

When asked which area of Milford was hit the hardest, Hershey said he believed it to be the Bay Shore beach area, particularly Melba Street and Field Court.

Richards said about the water damage done to the shoreline, “It’s just incredible. …We had the flooding of a Category Two Hurricane, even though we [only] had the wind of a Tropical Storm.”

A home or business owner may also register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by smartphone:  m.fema.gov, or in person at Gateway Community College, 88 Bassett Road, North Haven, or High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT.

In other business:

Four ordinances related to Hurricane Irene recovery were passed, giving injured parties in Milford who need to rebuild their homes some financial relief by waiving permit fees, Planning and Zoning Board application fees, Zoning Board of Appeals fees and filing fees.  See upcoming Milford Patch story, Argument Erupts at Board of Aldermen Meeting.

An ordinance offering property tax exemption and interest abatement for veterans was passed.

The following appointments to public office were approved:

Thomas C. Nichol from an alternate member to a regular member of the Zoning Board of Appeals to complete the unexpired term of Frederick E. Katen (resigned).  Term to expire 12/31/2015.

Jeffrey Doenges as an alternate member of the Pension and Retirement Board to fill a vacancy.  Term to expire 12/31/2011

Michael Hedman from an alternate member to a regular member as the Local 1566 Public Works Union representative on the Pension and Retirement Board to complete the unexpired term of Tyler S. Lewis (retired).  Term to expire 12/31/2012.

Larry Lah as an alternate member of the Local 1566 Public Works Union on the Pension and Retirement Board to complete the unexpired term of Michael Hedman (moved to regular member).  Term to expire 12/31/2012.

Finally, during Reports of Special Committees, two important pieces of information regarding Hurricane Irene Recovery Efforts were released:

  1. A large scale beach clean up is scheduled for this Saturday, September 17, 2011, beginning at 8:30 am.  Volunteers ought to go to any beach in Milford, and they will be put to use in the clean up effort.
  2. There are 250 youth available to help Milford citizens through the Rent-a-Kid program.  Please call Christie Roche at Youth and Family Services for more information: 203-783-3253.
Michael Brown September 13, 2011 at 04:44 PM
The Mayor and city departments did a great job during the storm. The warnings were right on target and no one was seriously injured.
Tom Jagodzinski September 13, 2011 at 05:58 PM
We we think about the fact that no one was seriously hurt during the storm, we can thank Bob Joy and the Republicans for restoring funding for the emergency warning system that Blake and his crew wanted to cut from the budget. Thank goodness there were people thinking about the safety and welfare of the people of Milford.
Michael Brown September 13, 2011 at 06:17 PM
Happy you to see survived unscathed . And thank you for you purely partisan, false and misleading statement.
robert frank September 13, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Really great to see Joe Prisco in the photo, a great independent with a good heart. Tom as for you, like I said in the Register the Chairman of the BOA said there is little to no difference between Blake and Joy, the more I attend debates and read their thoughts in the paper the more I realize they both vote identically on everything. The only break on a vote between these two in a long time was the trash museum... its kind of funny. However, I believe the Anti-Obama swing is working for the Republicans this year and Joy looks like a landslide winner by my calculations. Relax have a cigar and stop beating up on the challengers... its unsportsman like conduct.
Michael Brown September 13, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Game-Theory?
Alex September 13, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Republicans in Congress are much more unpopular than Obama http://www.pollingreport.com/cong_rep.htm
Tom Jagodzinski September 13, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Alex - When asked who they would vote for for congress it's Republicans 43%, Democrats 38% and Romney beats Obama in polls.
Alice September 14, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Let us please not let the national political dysfunction interfere with Milford's recovery from the storm. I don't care which political party you are in, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, we need to pull together to get our city repaired. I may be in a minority, but when I read blatantly political messages from either party I am really turned off. Just stop it, please, and do what's right for all of our citizens.
robert frank September 14, 2011 at 03:29 AM
Amen Alice!

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