ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -- The State of Vermont, municipalities, and some non-profit groups will be getting more federal money to reimburse them for costs incurred during Tropical Storm Irene and the subsequent clean up and repairs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that President Obama has approved Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s request for the federal government to reimburse applicants for 90 percent of the eligible costs to repair or restore infrastructure damaged by Irene instead of the standard 75 percent.
“This announcement marks a major milestone in our recovery from Tropical Storm Irene,” Governor Shumlin said. “It will mean significant savings for municipal budgets across the state, and for the state budget as well. We are incredibly grateful to President Obama and the Congressional Delegation, and also to FEMA for this welcome news.”
“We hope that this will help the state and its communities in their ongoing recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer James N. (Nick) Russo, the head of FEMA’s mission in Vermont. “We know that Vermont and its towns and cities are working as hard as they can to repair damage, and we’re working hard to get them their money.”
The FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program provides funding to repair roads and bridges, put water systems and electric utilities back in order, rebuild libraries and replace damaged books, repair hospitals and emergency services, rebuild schools and universities, and pay for other infrastructure restoration statewide.
It also reimburses communities and certain private non-profits for expenses associated with debris removal, emergency protective measures like search and rescue operations, and the cost of eliminating public safety or health hazards, like removing animal carcasses or demolishing unsafe buildings.
FEMA’s PA program typically reimburses 75 percent of the eligible cost of these projects, with the state and municipality sharing the remainder.
However, according to FEMA’s regulations up to 90 percent reimbursement is permitted if actual federal aid to a state for a disaster, minus FEMA’s administrative costs, meets or exceeds $127 per person.
With a population of 625,741 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, that means if the actual cost of FEMA aid to the state exceeds $79,469,107 the state becomes eligible for 90 percent reimbursement, at the discretion of the president.
So far FEMA has obligated, or paid to the state, approximately $64.7 million in reimbursement for Public Assistance projects related to Tropical Storm Irene, as well as $22 million in Individual Assistance to individuals and families for losses.
The increased reimbursement will be provided to both completed projects and those in process. It will not apply to projects related to the spring 2011 flooding.
To learn more visit: /public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.