“We are estimating overtime costs related to the fire (firefighting and evacuation) will be approximately $3 (million) to $4 million,” Chief of Staff Laura Neumann said in an email.
“While the local Waldo Canyon firefighting efforts have concluded, we expect nearly all Fire Department staff to be in an overtime status until the Fire Department’s Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) time period concludes in mid-July, so there will be continuing cost impacts. Many City staff (Communications, Finance, IT, etc.) that put in significant amounts of overtime are exempt employees so according to the FLSA the City is not required to pay overtime to those employees,” she wrote.
Neumann said operating costs, such as fuel, food and supplies, will be about $500,000.
“We are still gathering exact figures by category – purchases were made by many throughout the organization,” she wrote.
“City Fleet has indicated that we spent approximately $23,000 more on fuel during the fire (7,435 gallons of fuel). Other significant costs were for food and supplies for the firefighters in staging and the 24/7 Emergency Operations Center; IT related expenses for GIS mapping and printing; and additional communications equipment, etc. When we have cost estimates by category we will share them.”
Neumann said the city will be filing for reimbursement for “eligible costs” with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
“We are just beginning our work with FEMA representatives to determine what costs are eligible. 75% of eligible costs will be reimbursed by FEMA. The City’s 25% share of reimbursable costs may be born by the General Fund or possibly shared by the State. All costs not eligible for reimbursement will be born by the City. We anticipate asking for a supplemental appropriation for the FEMA grant and the General Fund in the near future,” she wrote.