The filing deadline for local governments and nonprofit agencies to receive assistance in 46 Missouri counties affected by historic spring flooding is noon on Friday.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety is stressing that requests of public aid must be made through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). They’ll be processed there, and sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for further action.
The deadline for filing was extended from July 1st to the 14th at the request of the state. The federal money is typically granted to repair public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and schools.
Thus far, at least 237 applications have been filed. After all of them are collected and processed, a FEMA public assistance specialist will come in and help the local government or non-profit in compiling and writing projects to get the reimbursement process moving.
Missouri Long Term Disaster Recovery Coordinator Patrick Baker says the federal grants cover most of an applicant’s expenses. “They will be eligible for 75% reimbursement on that” said Baker. “And then historically, the state covers 10%, and the applicant covers 15% of those costs.”
SEMA Recovery Division Manager Ron Broxton says the grant money is typically issued quickly, but notes there are two types of projects.
“They have what’s referred to as small projects and large projects” Broxton said. “We pay the small projects up front, a full 75%. The threshold for that is a little over $120,000. Anything above is considered a large. Anything below is considered a small.”
FEMA pays its share of small projects up-front, and reimburses the large projects based on source documentation such as invoices and labor records. Broxton says large projects can extend over a period of years.
“The period of performance for one of these grants is four years, due to complicated projects such as bridges. If you have buildings and such, they can last for several years actually.”
President Donald Trump issued a Disaster Declaration for Missouri on June 2nd. Governor Greitens appointed Baker as the Long Term Disaster Recovery Coordinator a day before the declaration, marking the first time such a move has been made in the state.
Baker notes an assessment will be made at a later date to determine if his position will become permanent. He says Greitens intent is to move forward in assessing what the state’s overall long term recovery needs are.
Baker is employed by the state’s executive branch through the Department of Economic Development. He previously served as Republican Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson’s Chief of Staff.
Local governments and non-profit agencies can apply for the federal Public Assistance as a result of spring floods in the following 46 counties: Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Butler, Camden, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Iron, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Ralls, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster, and Wright.
Potential public aid applicants with questions should call SEMA’s Public Assistance Program at (573) 526-9234.
Individual assistance is available for homeowners and renters in 27 counties. The deadline for filing to receive individual assistance is August 1st.