By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
When the City of Liberal experienced the blizzard toward the end of March, no one ever dreamed the city would receive a check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages and overtime hours paid out. But they did, a $50,146 check, as a matter of fact.
According to Public Works Director Joe Sealey, Emergency Management Director Greg Standard researched the prospect of receiving funds for the city. Although no damages were incurred during the storm, many overtime hours were put in by city workers as a result of the blizzard.
Ultimately, the city was eligible to receive up to 90 percent of
$59,667 that would cover the costs of man hours involved in the clean up that followed the March 27 blizzard.
“Greg Standard, our local emergency management director, he is the one that started this ball rolling and we just provided him the information with which to do the initial application,” Sealey said.
“Apparently we fell in those parameters they set forth for qualification.”
The amount the City of Liberal would received totally depended on the availability of state and federal funds, Sealey said.
“We were qualified, depending on the availability of funds so apparently the funds were there. We got it and are most certainly pleased about it, without a doubt,” Sealey said. “We have a smile on our face.”
The total amount the City of Liberal was eligible to receive depended on several factors. According to Sealey, due to a lack of damages, overtime hours the city paid its workers and equipment usage actually determined the dollar amount.
“It is just for the man hours and equipment depreciation,” Sealey said. “We were eligible for 48 hours worth of overtime, equipment operation and administrative costs.
“We were working 50 plus hours straight,” he added. “All we could do is take the peak 48 hours, which was basically from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. We took all overtime because straight time isn’t eligible, just overtime, and it is based off of our actual cost of overtime plus benefits and then equipment. Every piece of equipment that would do anything with snow was out on the scene. So we are allowed X number of dollars for every piece of equipment according to a FEMA standard chart.”