Ripton Learns Tough Lesson In Working With FEMA

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(Host) As towns across the state work to rebuild transportation infrastructure devastated by Irene, one local official is warning others to work closely with FEMA in their effort to recover the cost of those repairs.

In the summer of 2008, up to 9 inches of rain fell in Ripton in just a few hours. Repairing the damage to town roads cost a little over $1 million.

Ripton state representative Willem Jewett says the town was eligible to have 75 percent of the cost of those repairs covered by FEMA, and much of the rest covered by the state.

But in the end, the town did not receive all of the reimbursements it anticipated from FEMA, because not all of the work that was done fit within FEMA’s guidelines.

(Jewett) "What we found was that some of the work our folks did, which was all good work, but some of the work didn’t qualify. Didn’t meet the FEMA regulations. And so we were stuck with 100 percent of those costs."

(Host) Jewett’s advice to towns going through the process now is to work closely with FEMA from the outset on all the details of each repair, to be sure it’s eligible for reimbursement.

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