Officials get rolling on FEMA fundingLocal officials seeking federal funding to deal with emergency repairs following the flooding June 19-20 have until the end of the month to file an application.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Local officials seeking federal funding to deal with emergency repairs following the flooding June 19-20 have until the end of the month to file an application.
The deadline to request public assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency is Aug. 31, following President Barack Obama’s Aug. 2 disaster declaration.
The declaration covers Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, for disaster-related damaged that occurred June 19-20.
Local officials met with FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management staff Thursday to discuss the process.
There are seven categories covered by FEMA’s public assistance program, said Robert Stoikes of Wisconsin Emergency Management. The funding covers costs for clearing debris, providing protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, equipment, utilities and other, which is reserve for parks and recreation, he said.
“What we’re trying to do is incorporate the most cost-effective mitigation measures,” Stoikes said. While the behind the funding is to restore the damage to its previous condition, it will also cover the cost of enhancements — such as larger culverts in trouble spots — to mitigate problems in the future.
Funding is only available to state and local government entities and certain nonprofit organizations that are open to the public in general.
“Any sort of private companies are not covered,” Stoikes said.
Insured damages aren’t covered by FEMA, but costs not covered by insurance are.
For projects covered by FEMA, the federal agency picks up the tab for 75 percent of the costs and the state and local government equally split the remaining 25 percent of the cost.
Federal funding only covers public infrastructure, however, homeowners and businesses affected by the storm are still eligible for low-interest loans through the Small Business Administration.
While that office closed Thursday, people can still apply online, said Douglas County Emergency Manager Keith Kesler.
In addition to the disaster relief for flooding damages, the declaration creates an estimated $1.7 million pool of money for hazard mitigation, said Roxanne Gray of Wisconsin Emergency Management. While any entity in the state could apply for that funding, she said it’s likely the state will solicit requests from Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties for hazard mitigation grants first.
FEMA hazard mitigation grant funding helped the city fund the first phase of a storm water mitigation project in South Superior after heavy rains in 1999, caused basement flooding citywide. The worst hit area was South Superior.
For more information, contact Kesler at (715) 395-1391 or firstname.lastname@example.org. or Douglas County Emergency Planner David Sletten at (715) 395-1497 or email@example.com.