The Danbury City Council has approved spending $7,500 to hire a company to complete the paperwork for an emergency generator to be located at the Portuguese Cultural Center. The money will cover environmental and other surveys required to install a generator.
The Center would be used as a Functional Needs Shelter during major storm events. The site has everything needed for this type of shelter, except the generator.
Director of Civil Preparedness Paul Estefan says FEMA has funding available for generators through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. During the 2011 October Snow and Superstorm Sandy, a temporary Functional Needs Shelter was run by the City for residents who could not stay in their homes because they didn't have heat or electricity to operate their medical devices.
Officials say the Portuguese Cultural Center is a good site for a shelter because it's close to Danbury Hospital and is a recreational banquet hall with an exercise room, locker rooms, kitchen, library and other amenities. There is parking for more than 200 cars. Up to 40 portable beds would be used at the Shelter and have electric outlets for special needs residents.
The standby emergency generator would be located outside. It would be owned, operated and maintained by the City.