By MATT KOESTERS
The Clark County Commissioners announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had notified the county that $266,324 will be credited to the 25 percent federal matching portion of disaster-related costs incurred by the March 2 tornadoes.
The credit is being granted to Clark County for documented donated resources.
Total disaster costs are estimated at $2.3 million before reimbursements, according to a release distributed to the media by the commissioners at the board’s Thursday meeting.
“This is fantastic news since we would have had to pay this portion of our matching share out of taxpayer dollars,” Commissioners President Ed Meyer was quoted as saying in the release. “We are still going to be out some money, but this sure helps a lot. The support of our local community was overwhelming and heartwarming. We received so many compliments from out-of-town consultants and our FEMA representatives on all of the volunteer efforts and our area’s spirit of community.”
Before the credit, the county’s match with FEMA was 25 percent of about $1.6 million, according to CPA Jill Oca, who was employed by the commissioners to compile disaster-related data for the county. In addition to the FEMA match, the county will receive another reimbursement of 75 percent of about $800,000 from the National Resources Conservation Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Meyer noted in the release the county was not permitted to count any of the donations to major organizations like the Red Cross and The Salvation Army, and that the documented donated-resource credit could have been much larger.
“We knew we had the documentation, we just didn’t know if it would be approved by FEMA,” Commissioner Les Young was quoted as saying in the release. “Everyone was great in helping us document this information. Not only did they volunteer their time, equipment and supplies, but they did whatever they needed to do to make sure we could take credit for their work — and that is a lot of paperwork.”
Oca told the commissioners that the documentation turned in to FEMA to receive the credit filled seven banker boxes, and that FEMA only differed on a matter of $15 in what was turned in.
The commissioners credited several individuals for help in tracking the donations, including Oca, commissioners’ office employee Margie Jenkins, Heather Metcalf in the auditor’s office, River Hills Executive Director Jill Saegesser and Theresa Bottorff Perkins.
NEW DINING PLANS FOR ELECTION WORKERS
The commissioners unanimously approved a plan presented by County Clerk Barbara Haas to give poll workers a $30 payment for meals in lieu of feeding them on election day.
Haas said poll workers had presented a variety of concerns about dining options on election day. Poll workers will now arrange for their own meals.
In Tuesday’s edition of the News and Tribune, it was reported that the emergency appropriations were 25 percent of the overall cost of the tornado recovery. The amount reported was the amount paid out of the county’s cumulative capital development fund, and will be subject to a 75 percent to 25 percent match by FEMA, with the federal agency taking on the larger cost.