Westerville will see a respite in the cost of this fall's windstorm, courtesy of the federal government.

Westerville will see a respite in the cost of this fall's windstorm, courtesy of the federal government.

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), announced Dec. 19 that the agency will give Westerville $303,657 in public assistance (PA) reimbursement funds to cover expenses incurred during the Sept. 14 windstorm.

The reimbursement to the city covers the salary expenses and equipment costs that were incurred during the removal of storm debris.

According to external affairs officer Leo Skinner, the PA program offers aid to state and local governments as well as certain nonprofit organizations to recover from the storm that brought hurricane-force winds to central Ohio. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs.

City Manager David Collinsworth said the funds are most welcome.

"FEMA indicated to us about two or three weeks ago that we would receive some funding for the storm," Collinsworth said. "With the extensive detail our staff put in on recording the expenses, (FEMA officials) said we made it easy on them."

Altogether, cleanup, repair and replacement costs from the windstorm added up to about $475,000. That included $10,000 to repair a damaged fire station roof, $75,000 for service department overtime and more than $96,000 to replace trees blown down by the storm.

City service department crews worked 12-hour shifts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 6, according to public service director Frank Wiseman, logging 2,010 hours of overtime and about 4,000 hours of vehicle time at a cost of about $75,000.

About $20,000 was also used to hire outside crews for debris removal.

Ohio counties included in FEMA's federal declaration are Ashland, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Preble, Shelby, Summit, Tuscarawas, Union and Warren. Affected local governments in those counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance to supplement local response efforts to the storm, according to Skinner.