State Officials: Irene Recovery Funds To Be Delayed

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State government has learned that money it was hoping to get from FEMA to rebuild its Waterbury office complex is going to be delayed.

Legislative committees are meeting today in Montpelier to get updates on the progress of recovery from the Tropical Storm Irene floods.

Officials had intended to rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the bulk of the money needed to rebuild the Vermont State Hospital and the rest of the Waterbury complex.

The Winooski River washed through the state’s complex last August, displacing the state mental hospital and 1,500 employees who worked in other agencies.

The Shumlin administration estimates it will cost $120 million to replace the hospital and the office buildings, and the administration believed that FEMA would cover 90 percent of that.

Now they’re not sure. State officials say they’ve been told that FEMA is just beginning to go through the worksheets that will determine how much they can expect in recovery money.

But the agency has backed off on any commitments about the amount of assistance.

Individual homeowners and towns have found similar challenges. They say the FEMA staff working with them has changed more than once and they haven’t gotten consistent guidance.

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