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Jackson County seeks legislators’ help with FEMA

Jackson County seeks legislators’ help with FEMA

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Jackson County Administrator Wilanne Daniels asked two Florida legislators for help Friday in the county’s attempt to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reverse its current judgment that only $1 million would be reimbursable for road repairs made necessary as the result of Hurricane Michael.

Until about a month ago, the county looked to be in line for roughly $20 million. In constant contact with the agency through several changes in FEMA leadership associated with the reimbursement process, the county had been assured most of the way that the damages it was seeking reimbursement for were eligible.

But the latest is saying that most of the road damage reported was associated with the movement of heavy debris-removal vehicles, rather than resulting directly from the storm, and therefore not eligible for the funds the county is seeking.

The county, on the side of caution, has spent very little on those repairs, just in case something like this were to happen. But the roads do need to be fixed, leadership says.

Daniels asked the local delegation of state lawmakers, Sen. George Gainer and Rep. Brad Drake, to do what they could in reaching out to FEMA for another look at the matter.

The legislators were here for their annual pre-session meeting with local leaders about what they need going forward.

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