Little Rock, AR -- While officials in some cities and counties recovering from the ice storms received their Public Assistance funds quickly, others are still working with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) because some recovery plans are simple while others are complex. The process includes many steps, exacting regulations and reviews.
"All estimates submitted by local officials must be verified," Joe D. Bray, FEMA coordinating officer, said. "In many instances of debris removal, monitors may have been on hand to inspect the work as well."
After FEMA has performed its reviews and processed the eligible work for reimbursement, funding is transferred to ADEM, which administers the program. Processing and transmitting this funding to the applicant also takes time.
Normally Public Assistance grants are funded 75 percent from federal funds and 25 percent shared by the state and county/city. For the ice storm disaster, President George W. Bush determined the reimbursement rate for eligible debris removal would be increased to 100 percent. Extra care is required to assure that reimbursed funding is only for eligible work performed.
"We cannot release funds until all legal determinations have been made," Bray said.