FEMA's Timeliness Or Lack Thereof A Concern in Rockland
By Dan Hust
LIVINGSTON MANOR January 9, 2007 “I can see why people just don’t even bother doing it,” observed a frustrated Pat Pomeroy on Thursday.
Speaking at the annual Rockland Town Board reorganizational meeting in Livingston Manor, the town supervisor related item after item that was awaiting FEMA or state approval.
From washed-out roads to damaged homes, Rockland suffered some of the worst destruction from the 2006 and 2005 floods that ravaged much of Sullivan County.
And in order to repave roads, elevate homes out of harm’s way, and buy out flooded properties, state and federal emergency monies are necessary.
But, boy, do they take a long time to arrive.
Pomeroy noted with irony that a grant to acquire private properties from willing sellers fed up with repeated flooding requires an engineer for each project and reams of paperwork all due to FEMA by January 12. The town was just notified of it at the end of December.
Yet it took 16 months for Rockland to be notified by FEMA that they’ll get a 75 percent reimbursement on a near $150,000 culvert replacement the highway department completed in September of 2005.
Pomeroy welcomes questions on the matter or any other town issue at 439-4399. Town board meetings are open to the public and held the first Thursday (1:30 p.m.) and the third Thursday (7:30 p.m.) of the month at the town hall in Livingston Manor.