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Hazardous Branches Removed from Cross Country Trails

School board wil be applying for FEMA reimbursement.

It was a sight to see - Michael Purcaro, emergency management director and director of business and finance for the Board of Education and Tree Warden Jeff Schambach chugging up Route 30 in an orange utility vehicle.

No it wasn't warp speed but they were on a mission to change the course of the universe as we know it nevertheless. Hanging tree limbs, damaged from last October's snowstorm, were finally removed from the local cross country courses and the trails needed to be inspected in time for this season.

So off road they went, first at Vernon Center Middle School and then at Rockville High School.

They both liked what they saw and PUrcaro said the difference was "dramatic."

The Department of Public Works took care of the Rails to Trails System and the Board of Education hired Tolland-based New England Arborist to take care of the on-campus trails.

The work had to be bid because of the specialize skills required to climb and cut at the precise points required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A total of 304 "hazardous, hanging limbs" were cut at a cost of $64 per limb, or $19,456. The school board will be seeking FEMA reimbursement up to 75 percent of the project's cost.

"This storm was a true disaster and we are still fixing the damage it left behind," Purcaro said.

He aded that to meet FEMA accountability requirements for reimbursement, each and every limb cut needed to be documented. The required documentation includes a photo, GPS coordinates, date/time, and limb measurements, Purcaro said.

Vernon Resident August 24, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Nice touch to include the photos Chris... Much appreciated! $64 a limb seems good until you do it 304 times, ouch! Nice to see we can get some of that cost back!

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