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VTrans grant offsets reduction in FEMA aid for rebuilding bridge

The town of Moretown received a $126,346.50 grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to help offset a reduction in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for rebuilding a bridge on Spillway Road that connects Route 100B to the home of Scott Sainsbury and Pat Cox.

Last year, FEMA agreed to cover 95 percent of the cost to replace the bridge after it washed away during Tropical Storm Irene, meaning that of the $1.2 million project, Moretown would be responsible for about $45,000.

This past December, however, the town received a notice of nonpayment from FEMA explaining that, because Moretown rebuilt the bridge one foot wider and eight feet longer than the original, it would be responsible for paying an extra $150,000 for the improvement, raising the town's contribution to nearly $200,000.

Moretown and DuBois & King Construction engineers fought the notice of nonpayment, explaining that the replacement bridge was widened to add guardrails to meet Q25 State Standards and was lengthened to move its abutments out of the river to meet VTrans standards.

The town received a $126,346.50 grant from VTrans to help offset the reduction in aid from FEMA, thus acknowledging the discrepancy between federal and state standards. At their meeting on Monday, February 3, the Moretown Select Board moved to create a Highway Reserve Fund and deposit the money in the fund, which will be used as directed by the select board, via motion, for highway department needs.

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