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Governor Snyder Approves Financial Assistance to Local Governments Affected by Spring Flooding, Deep Freeze

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

Governor Rick Snyder has approved more than $2.7 million from the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to provide financial assistance to Michigan counties and communities impacted by last spring’s flooding disaster and deep freeze emergency.

Eligible local governments affected by the flooding or deep freeze were allowed to apply for assistance grants for up to $100,000 or 10 percent of the previous year’s operating budget, whichever is less.

The Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency. The money can be applied toward the immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster or emergency, as well as cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline used during the response and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the governor may authorize reimbursement from the fund to provide state assistance to counties and municipalities when federal assistance is not available.

Snyder declared a “state of disaster” on April 17 for Newaygo and Osceola counties due to severe weather and widespread flooding. On May 7, the disaster declaration was amended to include Isabella, Mecosta, Missaukee, Muskegon, Roscommon and Wexford counties.

Snyder declared a “state of emergency” for Marquette County on April 17 due to the damage caused by last winter’s extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels. On May 7, the emergency declaration was amended to include Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce and Mackinac counties.

In July, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division was notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that northern Michigan communities affected by the deep freeze did not meet the required statewide federal threshold for consideration for a presidential disaster declaration.

In October, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved more than $7.6 million in aid to communities in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula through the Community Development Block Grant program to assist in repairing critical infrastructure damaged by last winter’s deep freeze.

The state of Michigan continues to monitor the situation and is looking at all options to ensure communities recover and rebuild after these incidents.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

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