The area has seen its fair share of flooding this year, a good portion of the flooding came around Presidents Day. The flooding event caused local governments to respond in ways that required the spending of money to combat flood waters from causing more damage.
When the waters began to recede and local governments including Scioto County, the village of New Boston and various incurred $4 million in costs. Local officials including Kim Carver, Director of Scioto County Emergency Management Agency have been working to get communities reimbursed to the highest levels.
New Boston turned in $3.7 million in response and recovery costs. New Boston Local Schools turned in $100,000 in damages. The city of Portsmouth turned in over $200,000 in response and recovery costs. Remaining costs were spread out among the Scioto County Engineer and 12 townships.
“Scioto EMA (Emergency Management Agency) requested costs for clean up, road maintenance and repairs and emergency response from the townships, villages and the city and county departments. The Preliminary Damage Assessment saw local jurisdictions turn in more than $4 million in costs for response and recovery,” said Kim Carver, Director of Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) in a released statement.
Although it’s unknown what portion of the response and recovery costs would be able to be reimbursed.
Carver told the Scioto Voice on Monday, reimbursement rates have been set by the state and federal governments. Communities will be reimbursed at 75 percent from the federal government, 12.5 percent from the state of Ohio with the local share at 12.5 percent.
Recently, New Boston Village Council has approved some funding to pay contractors that have approached the village to pay their bill sooner than later. The village took this action in hopes of reimbursing themselves when funding became available.
It’s uncertain if any other local community has taken similar actions, before being reimbursed.
“FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is using a new model of coordination with locals and will have a person dedicate to the county soon. That person will sit down with each jurisdiction to go over their costs and anticipated projects pending and be available to help them with the paperwork needed. FEMA is presently setting up a Disaster Recovery Center in Columbus at the Ohio EMA Headquarters and should be out in jurisdictions starting in June,” Carver said.
Jay Carey, Ohio EMA Spokesman said in an exclusive interview, the damage estimates done in each community after the flooding was ballpark estimates on what it would take to get things back to normal.
“The local, state and federal government are looking at the extent of damage and come up with ballpark estimates on what it would cost to repair. Once we’ve looked at how much damage there was and we’ve met a threshold of the presidential declaration FEMA will come in and provide reimbursement,” Carey said. “In reality those preliminary assessments, we’re not really looking at again, we’re taking a more detailed look at each project.”
He said FEMA is in the process of designing project delivery managers to work with different jurisdictions. He knows project delivery managers have been assigned to New Boston and Portsmouth.
Carey said project managers may take a while to get to the area because FEMA is currently dealing with other natural disasters across the country.
He said the project managers will meet with officials from affected jurisdictions to come up with new figures at which they would be reimbursed.
“Over the next few months we’ll be working with FEMA and the local communities affected to really dial in and figure out what the reimbursement is going to be. That’s going to be a fairly lengthy process that started in May and could be four to six-month process,” Carey said.