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Richmond admin confident in hazard plan

January 19, 2011

RICHMOND -- One of Town Administrator Steven A. Sette's first tasks when he took the job in the spring of 2010 wasn't exactly what you would call easy.

Sette's contract with the town official began April 21, 2010, a mere three weeks after the entire state was hit with some of the most epic flooding its ever seen. And Richmond wasn't exactly safe from the torrential down-pouring and resulting flooding as many areas in town, particularly near the highways, suffered from heavy storm runoff.

As a result, Sette was heavily involved in working to get the town back in shape, so to speak, along with the Public Works Department, members of the town staff, and Town Council.

Since then, he has also had a hand in the creation of a hazard mitigation with Richmond Emergency Director Joseph Arsenault, who put the document together with a committee over the course of 2010. Together they listed the hazards in town.

They then did a risk assessment of those hazards based on the history of the town and its environment, which led to the overall plan that includes 11 total projects. Some of those projects feature several actions within them.

And at a Nov. 1 council meeting, Arsenault presented the plan to the Town Council to unanimous approval.

The plan was subsequently sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for review, which took place in late 2010. According to Sette, the town has received feedback from FEMA on the plan with very little that has to be changed along with some plan improvements.

“The recommendations are just that (recommendations) and we don't have to accept them into the plan if they don't really fit our situation," Sette said. "Based on the fact that our plan is substantially approved I can go forward with the grant request process with the knowledge that by the time the grants are awarded our plan will be approved.”

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