County, CCSC applying for disaster funds

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This image was taken by the Clay County Sheriff's Department as they assessed damage following the major flood on June 6, 2008. Clay County and the Clay Community School Corporation are applying for reimbursement funding for monies used to make necessary repairs. Courtesy Photo.

Clay County and the Clay Community School Corporation are attempting to recover some of the funds expended following the flood of June 6, 2008.

On Monday, both entities conducted public hearings regarding applications for reimbursements of money used to make damage repairs after the flood.

"The reimbursements would be from the 35 percent local match that had to be provided on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) projects," West Central Indiana Economic Development District Economic Development Planner Terry Jones said. "The applications are going though the Office of Community and Rural Affairs Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Appropriation No. 1."

Jones added the state has approximately $42 million available to be allocated, which was made available through funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Initially, the county was planning to request $224,383.62 and another $6,638.72 was to be requested by the school corporation, but Jones said there were some snags in what could be reimbursed.

"We found that some things were ineligible for the reimbursement," Jones said. "Basically, it is mainly for construction projects like culvert and road repair."

After adjustments were made, the county's request will be for $138,932.77 -- $1,500 of which will pay grant administration fees -- and the school corporation's request will be for $6,875. If approved, the reimbursement for CCSC would stem from storm water infrastructure repairs made on the Clay City Jr./Sr. High School ($4,375) and East Side Elementary ($2,500) properties.

The process of creating the applications was approved during the May 4 meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, who will be acting as the fiscal agent for both the county and school corporation. CCSC will have to enter into a subrecipient agreement with the commissioners to receive their portion of the funding, should it be approved, which CCSC Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger told Jones they are prepared for.

Jones added both applications are being submitted with an "urgent need" classification, as the county does not qualify for the status of being low to moderate income.

"The county would need at least 51 percent of its residents to fall into that category to qualify, but only about 40.4 percent are considered to be low to moderate income," he said.

Jones elaborated by explaining because of the two distinctions on the applications, there are restrictions in place which does not guarantee the applications would be approved.

"For every dollar allocated to an 'urgent need' application, the same amount has to go to an area determined to be low to moderate income," Jones said. "However, it shouldn't be too much of a problem because some applications for low to moderate income areas are requesting more than the county and school corporation are."

Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times any reimbursements approved be must returned to the specific funds in which the damage repair projects were paid through, which in the county's case, would be the Cumulative Bridge Fund.

Jones added the applications must be submitted to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in Indianapolis by Friday, and it has been indicated to him that notification of the awarded funding should come in the next 6-9 weeks.

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