BISMARCK, N.D. -- Disaster recovery officials announced today that President Clinton has approved Governor Ed Schafer's request for the federal government to reimburse 90 percent of the eligible costs to repair or restore damaged public infrastructure caused by flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms in North Dakota. The change comes because disaster damages have exceeded a per capita threshold in the state and is made at the discretion of the president.
"This cost share illustrates the commitment on the part of the federal government to assist state and local governments when disaster recovery needs exceed their financial capabilities," said FEMA Region VIII Director Rick Weiland.
Under the Public Assistance program, a presidential-declared disaster area normally may be eligible for a 75 percent reimbursement of the cost of repairing or restoring damaged infrastructure. This program may include debris removal, approved costs of emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged public facilities, such as roads and bridges, buildings, parks, water control facilities and utilities.
"This is a big boost to local communities who have been strained by the costs of dealing with disasters," Governor Schafer said. "FEMA responded to our requests by lessening the share the locals have to pay, and it will really make a difference."
FEMA and the state of North Dakota have already obligated more than $40 million to public assistance projects in the state this year. Projects that were funded before today's decision will also receive the additional 15 percent in federal funds.