As the end of the fiscal year approaches, some town officials say they’re about to receive most of the federal funding that they’ve applied for to repair roads damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. But other town officials say they’re still waiting.
The town of Halifax was hard hit by Irene. Almost every single road was damaged. Halifax has borrowed money to pay for repairs. But this week Christina Moore, who is managing the town’s recovery, says she has good news from FEMA.
"I’m expecting deposits in our account by the end of this month for between $1.5 and $2 million," Moore says. "That will cover 95 percent of all of the money that we have spent to date."
The federal government is reimbursing towns 90 percent of the cost of what it considers eligible repairs. The state is paying 5 percent, but the timeliness of reimbursement has been mixed.
In Rockingham, Town Manager Tim Cullenen says his town hasn’t been reimbursed anything for the rebuilding of the Bartonsville covered bridge, and he says FEMA paperwork is lengthy and FEMA staff keeps changing.
"It’s been a long and frustrating process," Cullenen says. "And to date we’ve received just a fraction of what the damages were to our roads and bridges."
Sue Minter, Vermont’s Irene recovery officer acknowledges it’s taking a long time for some towns. "They’re very concerned about the end of their fiscal year and June 30th and we are working as hard as we can to deliver those dollars that are available from us to them."
Minter says some towns are still working with FEMA to see if certain costs will be covered.