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County Yet To Receive Promised FEMA Funds from Spring or Irene Disaster Declarations

By Pat Bradley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-988171.mp3

Jay, NY – In rural Essex County NY, roads and bridges were washed away, and severe damage occurred to county property in both storms. Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas is Chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

In the Town of Moriah, repairs continue on some damaged roads. The town hired a contractor to do some of the larger repairs that their highway crew could not handle. A excavator was rented in April and has continued to make temporary repairs. Supervisor Tom Scozzafava says they will have to borrow money to pay for the repairs until FEMA funds are actually in hand.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Spokesman Chris McKniff explains that FEMA reimburses the state and local communities at a 75-percent cost share.

Supervisor Randy Douglas was in Albany earlier this week and spoke briefly with Governor Cuomo about the funding problem.

A spokesman for the NYS Emergency Management Office deferred to FEMA, saying the state is merely a channel for the funds. He said Essex County is not the only area experiencing delays, but was optimistic that with replenishment of funding federally, communities may soon see FEMA dollars.