Marshall Co. falls short of FEMA reimbursement

PLYMOUTH — Even though state government agencies are eligible to receive disaster help in the form of reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) it appears that none will be headed to Marshall County after last month’s blizzard.
Government agencies are eligible to receive up to 75 percent reimbursement of overtime wages and supplies that are used to clean up after storms or other disasters. The agency applying for the reimbursement must provide documentation of the dollar amount spent in the effort which must pass a certain threshold amount in order to be eligible for the federal dollars.
The formula for the eligibility threshold takes the number of citizens in a jurisdiction – in Marshall County it is 47,050 – and multiplies it by a set dollar amount per citizen. The state of Indiana must also meet the threshold amount to be eligible and that dollar amount is around $8.5 million for the state to seek a declaration from FEMA.
While the state has asked for the declaration in seeking the money, Marshall County agencies documented just $180,719 used in fighting the February snow storms – far below the threshold needed to qualify.
It is necessary for agencies wishing reimbursement to file the necessary paperwork online for FEMA to consider for the program. While many agencies – including the Marshall County Highway Department, the Indiana Department of Transportation, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and the town of Bourbon – filed the paper work, several jurisdictions – including the city of Plymouth and the towns of Bremen and Culver – did not do so.
Director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, Clyde Avery, also reported to the Marshall County Commissioners that assessment of the county reaction to the blizzard pointed out the need for revision of the command and control annex of the County’s Emergency Action plan.