Augusta, ME -- With the signing of the Federal--State agreement between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Maine by Gov. Angus S. King Jr., the federal government can release funds to assist communities in repairing public facilities damaged by the severe winter storms and flooding during the period of March 5--31.
The agreement was signed Wednesday in Gov. King's office. The agreement certified Arthur W. Cleaves as the Governor's Authorized Representative (GAR) and Joseph R. Albert as the Alternate GAR. Marianne Jackson is the Federal Coordinating Officer.
President George W. Bush declared this disaster May 16, making municipal, county and state governmental agencies, and certain qualifying non--profit organizations in Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Washington and York counties eligible for assistance for such things as road washouts, culvert replacements and debris removal.
The program is administered by the state with the federal government paying 75 per cent of the cost, the state 15 per cent, and the local community 10 per cent. In addition, any community in the state is eligible to seek a hazard mitigation grant to help fund projects to prevent or reduce damage in future disasters.
Federal--state teams are currently in the field helping those communities complete applications for recovery projects. So far, 78 requests for assistance have been received according to Joe Albert, Maine Public Assistance Officer.
"We are placing strong emphasis on designing repair projects to reduce or prevent similar damage in future storms," Lynette Miller, State Coordinating Officer. "It saves taxpayer dollars to spend a little more money now to save a lot of money in the future. This is why hazard mitigation is a consideration in the development of every project."