Contact: Darryl Moss, Deputy Communications Director
June 10, 2014 -Springfield, MA - Mayor Domenic Sarno, TJ Plante, CAFO, Chris Cignoli, DPW Director, City Councilor Bud L. Williams, and Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks Buildings and Recreation Management, have announced a Right of Entry Program for the residents of the tornado zone. Mayor Sarno has expressed his concerns and has heard from numerous residents expressing the need for assistance to remove damaged trees impacted by the June 1, 2011 tornado from their property.
FEMA has denied several attempts by the city to seek federal assistance for the Right of Entry work within tornado zone 3, East Forest Park. Many of the damaged trees are adjacent to homes recently repaired and the cost of remediation has far exceeded the resident’s capacity to remove the trees. Mayor Sarno has established a $100,000 fund in the Fiscal year 2015 budget to address the challenge of tree removal.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated “Over the past three years, our residents and businesses have shown tremendous resiliency and patience during the rebuilding process. This fund will contribute to our continued efforts in making the entire city whole again and mitigate future public safety threats from the damaged trees.”
In the aftermath of the tornado, residents were instructed to fill out forms by FEMA. In some cases the applications were approved on site only to reversed and denied by FEMA field workers at a later date.
City Councilor Bud L. Williams stated “although FEMA has rejected city efforts to assist our effected neighborhoods on at least three occasions, we’ve yet again proven that our city government will not give up and will do what it takes to find the resources needed to assist our residents here in Springfield.”
While the city made attempts for greater inclusion for Right of Entry work across the tornado zones, the Maple High and Six Corners Neighborhoods were the only successful applications.
The city will take applications over the next 60 days. Residents applying for Right of Entry Work for their property will adhere to the following procedures:
- Applications previously collected will be honored and field technicians will schedule a field visit with homeowners. Right of Entry work will be capped at $2,500 per household. Trees need to be considered a hazard to houses and a hazard in future storm damage.
- Applications can be obtained from the city website or by calling 311 from a landline or (413) 736-3111 from a cell phone or from outside the city.
- Residents will provide proof of ownership, current copy of deed and insurance policy in affect at the time of the tornado.
- Upon receipt, Applications will be reviewed within 30 days and field visits will be coordinated with the homeowner.
- Residents will be scheduled for removals during August and September. Homeowners will have the responsibility to provide access to the site; i.e.: remove fences and obstructions for access.
The Announcement will be made at 50 and 60 Kipling Street. Julie and Paul Andruszkiewicz and George and Michele David, both families made applications within the weeks after the tornado for ROE work at their properties.