I hope you are doing well. We had another busy week at WFM and I wanted to send you a quick update on our progress.
As we move into week 4 of the flood recovery process, we continue to gain clarity on what needs to happen for a mid-September limited reopening.
First, thank you to everyone who has donated to the Farmers’ Flood Fund so far. Your contributions helped fund a portion of the payroll for our entire team of nearly 80 employees from the day of the flood through the upcoming August 18th payroll. While we hope to see insurance money by the end of the year to cover construction costs, there are no guarantees on what that final amount will be. And insurance money does not cover payroll expenses.
An important lesson we learned from Hurricane Irene is the value of keeping as many staff on the payroll as possible throughout the recovery process. Not only to perform the overwhelming number of projects that need to be done, but to have a solid team in place when we reopen. Additional dollars raised through the Farmers’ Flood Fund will help cover temporary payroll costs while we rebuild.
Secondly, here is the news of the week:
· We are now fully engaged in the Demo and Reconstruction Phase, moving quickly to rebuild. Some important construction projects and permits are now in the works. The entire store has been gutted, along with our Next-Door offices and Bakery. Servpro has come, and the buildings are dry and free of mold.
· Offices: We moved into new office space in the Lincoln Corners Building. Thank you to George Helmer for his generosity and making this possible.
· Insurance Claim: Counting inventory to support our claim, both contents and demo/reconstruction/equipment mitigation. It’s a ton of work. A special thank you to Jason Cayer for allowing us to store our inventory in his climate-controlled building.
· Waterbury WFM is going gangbusters, thanks to your shopping commute! We love that and so does the Waterbury team!
We will continue to update you weekly. While we are still hoping for a partial reopening in mid-September, this will depend on how quickly the construction projects move along. Special thanks to the WFM team that’s onsite and driven to re-open like nobody’s business. I am so thankful.
And finally, to you, our amazing community: thank you from the bottom of my heart. The Flood Fund generosity is overwhelming. We cannot say it enough: your positive vibes and friendship are what keep us going every day and makes the rebuilding worthwhile.
Flood Update from Patrick
July 28th, 2023