After the initial response to the home generator reimbursement program, city officials added $50,000 to fund additional resident applications.
The resolution passed with a 5-2 vote. Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Walsten, a vocal opponent to the program, was not present at Monday night’s meeting. Aldermen Patricia Haugeberg and Dan Wilson voted against the proposal.
The program began Sept. 19 with hundreds of residents lining up at city hall to apply for reimbursements. Within hours, all $22,500 for the program had been disbursed and about 300 resident names were put on a waiting list.
Officials received 379 applications the first week of the program and reimbursed 82, said Jason Slowinski, acting city manager. Applications have continued to come in, and currently there are 297 pending applications.
Many, but not all, on the waiting list will be reimbursed with the $50,000 added to the program, Slowinski said. Rebates will be disbursed to residents in the order in which they applied for the program, he added.
Officials will likely decide to whether to add more money to the fund for 2012 in the upcoming budget talks and might make the program permanent.
“This is the perfect program to help them,” said Mayor Martin Moylan.
In addition to providing UPC labels and receipts from generator purchases, residents applying on or after Oct. 4 will also have to provide the serial number for their generator. Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Brookman said this would help decrease the possibility for fraud.
Haugeberg said she has heard “mixed reviews” from residents in her ward about the program. She added that if possible, she would like a to see a map of where residents receiving reimbursements live because some residents suffer in power outages more than others.
City Attorney David Wiltse said he was not sure of the legality of producing such a list.
Residents can apply for a $250 rebate for portable generator purchases or $400 for permanent interior generators. The city is still accepting applications for new purchases.
Residents who purchased a generator between June 22 and Sept. 19 have until Dec. 2 to apply for retroactive reimbursements.