PEORIA, Ill. -- Local officials, county agencies and certain private non-profit organizations in central and northern Illinois have only a few more days to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) to possibly be eligible for federal snow assistance following the severe winter storm that hit the area Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The deadline to submit the one-page RPA is Jan. 28, according to state and federal disaster officials.
President Bush’s emergency disaster declaration issued Dec. 29, 2006, designated 26 counties that experienced record or near-record snowfall. Each applicant is eligible for financial assistance for snow removal expenditures incurred during a continuous 48-hour period that they select. Federal funds will pay 75 percent of eligible costs under this reimbursement program.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) held four applicants’ briefings for officials of governmental organizations and not-for-profit agencies throughout the designated counties to explain the procedures for requesting assistance.
“Those public officials who were unable to attend one of these briefings may call IEMA to submit their Requests for Public Assistance before the Jan. 28 deadline,” said IEMA Director William C. Burke. The number to call in Springfield is (217) 782-8719.
More than 525 RPAs from government entities and organizations have already been submitted. After the form is processed by the state, FEMA PA coordinators and project officers work in partnership with applicants to provide comprehensive information, explanations and technical assistance. They document expenses, determine eligible costs for reimbursement, and develop and review project worksheets.
“We want to make sure that every community that was affected has an opportunity to apply,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Michael H. Smith. “This reimbursement of eligible expenses resulting from a storm of this magnitude is essential in helping cities, towns and municipalities be better prepared to meet the next storm,”
The designated counties for snow removal financial assistance are: Adams, Boone, Brown, Bureau, DeKalb, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Lee, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Menard, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Scott, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell and Winnebago.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.