Feds to reimburse Vermont $22M for cleanup costs following July floods

By TIFFANY TAN

VtDigger

Published: 04-22-2024 3:53 PM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending Vermont $22 million to cover its costs of cleaning up debris and stabilizing state buildings in Montpelier following last summer’s historic flooding.

The bulk of the federal reimbursement to the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services — $21 million — is meant to repay it for removing contaminated floodwaters from 14 state buildings and dehumidifying them, FEMA said in a news release Friday afternoon.

Another $1 million is to recover state payments for contractors’ removal of nearly 12 tons of construction and demolition debris, as well as vegetative debris, such as damaged trees and broken limbs, from roads and public property.  The work involved hauling the waste matter to a disposal site, according to the release.

FEMA said the buildings that had been stabilized included those of the Green Mountain Care Board, Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Supreme Court and the Pavilion Building, whose occupants include Gov. Phil Scott and his senior staffers.

VTDigger earlier reported that the July 2023 statewide storms had impacted 22 state buildings in the capital.

Affected officials and employees, including state Supreme Court staffers and Scott and his senior staff, moved to temporary workspaces. The floodwaters had also damaged all of the computers at the Green Mountain Care Board offices.

“Reimbursing state, county, and municipal governments ­— as well as eligible non-profits and tribal entities — for the costs incurred as a result of this disaster is an important part of the state’s recovery,” FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich said in a statement. 

Scott’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

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The $22 million reimbursement comes from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, a source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.