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Essex County still waiting for FEMA funds

September 27, 2011
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

ELIZABETHTOWN - Essex County officials are waiting, but their patience is waning.

Supervisors expressed frustration Monday that funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency haven't come through yet following spring flooding and Tropical Storm Irene.

Dan Connell, D-Westport, told FEMA Community Relations Manager Donald Hawkins that many towns have placed their work orders and are still waiting for word on when federal reimbursement will be approved.

"Is there any idea on how long it may take before the money might reach us?" Connell asked.

Hawkins said it's tough to put a time frame on when FEMA aid will be distributed.

"It's going to be taken care of," he said. "That's all I know at the moment. But we're not going home; we're here for you all."

Supervisors like Tom Scozzafava, R-Moriah, and Randy Preston, I-Wilmington, said their communities are still waiting for reimbursement dating back to damage caused by April floods.

"It's been five months, and I've already signed off on some of the paperwork," Preston said. "How long from the time we sign the paperwork until it gets back to the state?"

According to Hawkins, reimbursement procedures are moving through the normal channels. He added that he would look into where such paperwork is at this point in the process.

North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi said FEMA representatives may not be able to speak to ongoing negotiations in the House and the Senate.

"My guess is that this has to do with politics, and I'm guessing that Don has no idea because it is political," he said.

Chairman Randy Douglas, D-Jay, is meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo today to express concerns over environmental problems. He said he would also address ongoing concerns over federal reimbursement.



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