Price Tag for Richland After the Wind Storm

<p>Wind Storm Damage</p>

Wind Storm Damage

Damage from the latest storm that ravaged our area last month is going to cost the City of Richland some big bucks.

Richland is estimating more than $553,000 in expenses, mostly for tree replacement and damage to city property.
   
Downed trees caused multiple power outages on December 16th and 17th which impacted several hundred residents, and replacing the trees and paying cleanup and repair crews is adding up.

A city study found that mature trees, such as the 100 lost city-wide, cost $2,100 each to replace.

Meanwhile, overtime for crews working to restore power, clear streets and respond to emergency calls also added up.

But here's the good news... Parks & Recreation Director Joe Schiessl explains that the city is insured and that residents can rest easy.

"This storm happened in 2012 so it'll be subject to what we had budgeted for last year.  The policy deductible is $100,000 and we had budgeted for that amount," said Schiessel.

He added that the city is also applying to the state and to FEMA for additional funding, which may cost Richland even less.

The $553,000 dollars is an initial estimate for now. 

This overall total number could increase after staff evaluate the impact more fully, but because the city is insured, residents will see no effect on their city services.

The city says it could take several weeks to get all the paperwork out of the way, but the tree-planting will begin in the spring.