U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Bennet, Gardner, Polis, and Buck urge FEMA to reimburse counties for disaster recovery projects

Boulder County has $40 - $50 million at risk, and Larimer County has $20 million at risk

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Boulder, November 5, 2018 | comments

Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Jared Polis, and Rep. Ken Buck joined together to urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William Long to reimburse Colorado counties for disaster recovery projects after the 2013 floods – and provide guidance to ensure that pending projects get reimbursed. 

Without greater flexibility and guidance, Boulder County could stand to lose between $40 - $50 million in reimbursements, and $20 million in projects for Larimer County could be rejected.

“We […] request the agency provide interim guidance as soon as possible to ensure Colorado communities recovering from the devastating 2013 flood can proceed with certainty that they will be reimbursed for ongoing flood recovery projects,” the lawmakers wrote.  

The recent interpretation of FEMA regulations requires that all disaster recovery projects - regardless of type or location - follow specific, uniform codes in order to be eligible for reimbursement. It is preventing local municipalities from rebuilding in the most resilient and cost-effective way. It is especially true in counties like Boulder, where facilities are located in mountain canyons and therefore should not be subject to the same codes as facilities in locations with different terrains. Other counties, including Larimer, also face similar obstacles.

A copy of the letter to Administrator William Long is available HERE.


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