Waiting On Official Word from FEMA

By Haley Burton

Waiting On Official Word from FEMA

October 9, 2012 Updated Oct 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Tioga County is still waiting on official word from FEMA on the potential of millions in reimbursement money coming its way for restoring county records.

On Friday, Senator Charles Schumer announced he had secured $3.4 million in FEMA Disaster Aid for Tioga County.

Thousands of county documents housed in several County buildings were damaged or destroyed in the September 2011 flood. The County spent more than $4 million to restore them. The County contracted with a company to inventory, vacuum freeze dry and sterilize thousands of cartons of documents.

The FEMA funds would cover 75% of the total cost for the project.

Chuck Shager, Chief Accountant for Tioga County, says he is still waiting on the Project Workshop FF 90-91 from FEMA obligating the funds. But he said Senator Schumer has been working closely with the County and provided great support.

The $4.5 million for restoration work was originally scheduled to be taken out of the County budget mid-October.

"That's part of what the problem is. It really would deplete our fund balance and cause us considerable concern," said Dale Weston (R), Chairman of Tioga County Legislature.

Weston says the County isn't sure about the process with the FEMA funds yet or when they will get the money.

"It's good to know we're going to be receiving. How it's going to be dispensed and what the rules and regulations are that go with that at this point, I don't know. I don't know what options we have that go along with that when the time comes," said Weston.

Weston says currently the records are kept at several locations including the Public Works and Public Safety buildings. Others have been thrown away because the County decided it was not necessary to have them stored.