State Appealing FEMA Decision

Feb 7, 2014

The state is appealing FEMA’s decision to deny public assistance money for November tornado recovery costs. More steps remain to secure the funding, even if the appeal is successful.

Credit Tanya Koonce / Illinois Public Radio

FEMA denied the state’s request last month, saying Illinois was more than $11 million short of the threshold to qualify for the public assistance. The appeal includes more than $21 million in debris cleanup and other costs not included in the first submission, like sidewalks, gutters and curbs.

Dawn Cook is the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency Director. She says they submitted about 85-percent of the total expenses in the state-wide appeal. But Cook says, even if public assistance is approved, local communities would first need to meet with the state Emergency Management Agency:

“Then they sit down with each jurisdiction and go line by line and they go through the costs. The determine eligibility based on what they’re submitting.  I mean it’s a very detailed process they have to go through,” Cook said.

Cook says she hopes any federal reimbursement can also include some of each city’s cost for the necessary debris removal from private property. She says a successful appeal can land the state up to 75-percent of eligible clean-up and security costs.