HJ - Standard Page County Courthouse

Federal aid will be forthcoming to help Page County entities affected by the flooding this spring.

  At a meeting of the Page County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, June 18, Emergency Management Coordinator Kris Grebert reviewed funding application procedures that have been completed or were underway with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  “We’ve been having meetings regularly with FEMA [officials], plus phone calls and doing all the paperwork and signing of documents,” he said. 

With formal approval of the applications, three Page County departments -- secondary roads, conservation and public health -- will be receiving financial assistance to offset costs associated with damage from the flooding.

The federal share will be 75 percent. Of the remaining amount, state aid will meet 15 percent, with the county covering the other 10 percent.

Grebert said the secondary roads department incurred an estimated $20,000 in damage to infrastructure. An estimated $6,000 in damage was reported to facilities under the responsibility of the conservation department.

Expenses for the public health department were reflected in salaries for individuals who worked at a shelter in Shenandoah for flood victims.

Along with the three county departments, damages totaling about $100,000 were reported by the Page I Rural Water District, Grebert said. A large portion of that amount, about $65,000, was for work to repair and replace components of water lines.

Grebert said Page I officials “did a great job of documenting” the impact the flooding had on the system.

The county was able to borrow pumps from the Iowa Department of Transportation that were used in Essex during the flooding, and wages paid to operators of the pumps were classified as flood-related expenses.

In Shenandoah, about $65,000 in damage was reported. The city, Grebert said, “filed their own paperwork, and I’ve heard that they got some of their funds approved.”

Each of the Page County entities, Grebert said, “has a point person for FEMA. Even though we’re in the same county, each one does it differently.”

Supervisor Chair Alan Armstrong said he was impressed by the manner in which the county and other government units “pulled this together. I didn’t hear of any problems.”

  Noting that it often can be difficult to qualify for financial assistance after a natural disaster, Supervisor Jon Herzberg said “it seems like it worked better this year.”

  In an unrelated matter at the June 18 meeting, Grebert told the supervisors that a defective microwave link had prevented a signal from being sent from the PageComm dispatcher at the Clarinda Public Safety Center to the Clarinda tower.

The equipment, which was not part of the installation of the county’s new communication system, will need to be replaced, he said. Bids will be solicited for the project.

In other business, the board:

Reappointed Gary Alger to the Page County Veterans Commission, and appointed two new members -- Ray Harris and Douglas Vance.

Reappointed Allie Wellhausen to the Clarinda Lied Public Library Board of Trustees.

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