In the wake of devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Irene, many Moretown residents and municipal branches are still wading through a pile of paperwork and waiting on the findings from insurance adjusters and FEMA assessments.
Moretown resident John DiCarlo and his wife Pam Becker have yet to apply for a building permit from the town because they aren’t sure what the outcome of their insurance claim will spell for a potential rebuild. The house sustained severe flooding that compromised the foundation, ripped off the back deck and washed away the front steps.
“We got hit pretty hard,” he said. The first floor of the Moretown Village home filled with five and a half feet of water and wrecked everything including the steps to the second story. Everything in the upstairs bedrooms had to be thrown out and the house was eventually gutted to the basement.
DiCarlo and Becker have rented a furnished home closer to their business, Sunflower Natural Foods in Waterbury Center, until they figure out the next step. Damage assessments have been done and the insurance adjuster has done an assessment.
“We’re still on hold with the insurance, so we’re waiting for that to get processed and receive our report and go over it; FEMA doesn’t step in and do much if you have insurance, which we do,” DiCarlo said.
“We made our choice to find a place to settle into until we can figure it all out. It’s going to take time; even if we started tomorrow, we’re still talking three or four months down the road,” he continued.
Elected town officials are still without a permanent town office after the town office building sustained significant flood damage that infiltrated the town vault and ruined real estate records. The waterlogged records were frozen and trucked to a state restoration facility where work is underway to restore them.
In the interim, the town clerk’s office has been operating out of the Moretown Fire Station; town officials have discussed several alternatives for permanent relocation, but no decisions have been made yet.
Select board members previously considered relocating the town offices to the front building of the Moretown Elementary School, a possibility Principal Duane Pierson said he would discuss with the school board.
Members of the Moretown Planning Commission requested that they be involved in the relocation process since the planning commission had already been investigating potential sites for the office, pre-flood.
At the October 10 meeting, select board member Clark Amadon told town officials that at an open forum between the planning commission and the school board, the planning commission expressed that the front building of the school would be the best place for the town offices.
According to the minutes, “By all appearances, the school board was not enthusiastic about that idea.”
Town officials will consult with the town’s attorney for advice concerning moving a public office into a school, but during the meantime the offices will remain at the fire station and a temporary storage unit will be put inside the building for a vault.