Montpelier, VT – State Treasurer Mike Pieciak and Bennington County Senators announced that over $130,000 of federal funds are available to reimburse Bennington County public entities that conducted search and rescue operations on Green Mountain National Forest land on or after Oct. 1, 2012. The funds are available pursuant to Title III of the Secure Rural Schools Act.
Bennington County first responders conducting search and rescue operations on Green Mountain National Forest land should review expenditures to determine whether they are eligible for reimbursement. Eligible expenses include repair of equipment damaged during an emergency response, maintenance of vehicles, equipment, and facilities during an emergency response, and purchase of capital equipment such as a fire engine, a search-and-rescue snowmobile, or other emergency response equipment. Funds will be reimbursed at a rate proportional to their use on Green Mountain National Forest land.
“Emergency personnel are foundational to our state and often work on very tight budgets. I want all emergency personnel to know about these federal dollars, and I hope to reimburse Bennington County entities as quickly as possible for expenses they may have incurred related to search and rescue equipment, training, and supplies,” said Treasurer Pieciak. “My team is standing ready to answer questions and I hope local officials won’t hesitate to reach out.”
Bennington County State Senator Dick Sears encouraged eligible emergency personnel to contact Treasurer Pieciak’s office: “We are grateful for the work of our local rescue squads and fire departments in Bennington County and know that every dollar counts in their budgets. Please contact the Treasurer’s Office if you have an expenditure that may be eligible to be reimbursed through these funds.”
Sen. Brian Campion also urged area entities to take advantage of the available money: “One of the eligible expenses for these funds is the purchase of capital equipment such as a fire engine or search-and-rescue snowmobile that is used for emergency response. Reimbursements for those types of large expenditures can be particularly impactful.”
Priority will be given to more recent expenditures, so public entities are asked to “work backward” in submitting requests for reimbursement, starting with the most recent expenditures. Eligibility criteria and information about how to access these reimbursements can be found here.