The lowly culvert got a lot of attention in
the Statehouse on Wednesday. The issue is whether the federal
government will help towns pay to build bigger bridges and culverts to replace those
destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene.
On the eve of the Legislative
session, the Shumlin Administration says a big funding question has been
settled. Federal funds and insurance payments will cover about 70 percent of the cost of
a new state hospital and other improvements to the mental health system.
Federal Emergency Management Agency has ruled against the state of Vermont in a decision that affects plans to replace the state hospital in Waterbury. FEMA
determined this week that the hospital was damaged but not destroyed by
Tropical Storm Irene.
still no definitive word on how much Vermont can expect in federal help with recovery
from Tropical Storm Irene. But a state official told a legislative committee Thursday that it’s expected to be January before the state can expect a firm
Vermont hired two consulting firms shortly after Tropical Storm Irene to navigate FEMA’s bureaucratic
maze. The state is set to pay up to $4 million under a pair of consulting
contracts with the disaster management specialists.
A stream crossing in Townshend
is the test culvert for building back town infrastructure in a more resilient
fashion after the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency says it won’t pay for larger culverts like the one in
Townshend that the state says are needed to withstand future floods. FEMA says
the state is applying inconsistent standards.
Governor Peter Shumlin says
it could take several years for the state to resolve all of its funding
disputes with the Federal Emergency Management Agency over flood damage to the
Waterbury State Office Complex.