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Township Declares Disaster, With Its Eye On Your Wallet

Township Declares Disaster, With Its Eye On Your Wallet

It would be nice to have some deep-pocketed help if a scene like this, photographed Sunday by the Associated Press in Norfolk VA, is repeated in Lower Pottsgrove

SANATOGA PA – Even when faced with looming disaster, Chris and Mike apparently are thinking about protecting your wallet.

That’s Lower Pottsgrove Township Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Wilcox. That’s Police Chief Michael Foltz. And the “you” in “your wallet?;” those are township taxpayers.

Township Declares Disaster, With Its Eye On Your WalletWilcox and Foltz announced Sunday (Oct. 28, 2012) at 1:18 p.m. that Lower Pottsgrove had “declared a disaster emergency in light of predictions” for the imminent weather onslaught expected from Hurricane Sandy. Beyond the customary need to obey law enforcement directions and state and local laws, the declaration doesn’t demand much commitment from residents or visitors. But, as Wilcox explained, it does command state and federal government attention.

“A disaster declaration,” Wilcox said, “opens an opportunity for the municipality to recover from the incident.” Interpret his phrase as ‘get repaid for expenses.’ It also allows the township to take advantage of immediate state assistance, such as National Guard help if needed, and it suspends its need to rely on the usual bidding process to buy supplies or services, he added.

“Through good record keeping, after the incident, municipalities may apply for some reimbursement for expended funds (for) the emergency, whether it be a hurricane or a snow storm, if the funds are released on a federal level,” Wilcox noted, “so it is imperative for the municipality to make the declaration in a timely manner.”

Some reimbursement already seems likely. President Obama signed a similar emergency declaration Monday (Oct. 29) for Pennsylvania, which makes federal money and help available statewide. Moreover, Foltz and Wilcox have a proven track record in recouping cash for Lower Pottsgrove.

Foltz was a police lieutenant, not chief, and Wilcox the assistant coordinator, during the February 2010 winter storm that dumped between 18 and 24 inches of snow on the area. Their efforts recovered thousands of dollars in reimbursement from that storm, and later from a subsequent hit during 2011.

Both Foltz and Wilcox will be in-and-out Monday at the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd., where the emergency management operations center is located. Wilcox reports “the township public works department has all equipment prepared and ready to go.” Both the Sanatoga and Ringing Hill fire companies – Wilcox is an assistant chief at Ringing Hill – “are following the storm and are prepared to assist as needed,” he added.

In the police department, Foltz said, at least three patrol officers are assigned for duty on all shifts through Wednesday, and all officers are on call.

Photo from The Associated Press via Google Images

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