Gov. Hickenlooper presents disaster relief check to Boulder County

Check delivered to Boulder county for public assistance reimbursements.
Gov. John Hickenlooper today presented a $1.154 million check to the Boulder County Commissioners, the first under a new program to expedite disaster relief payments for infrastructure repairs to counties and communities impacted during the 2013 floods.

“Turnaround times have dramatically improved under this new program – during the month of July we tripled the amount of previous reimbursements,” Hickenlooper said. “We sought a new approach, because we needed to keep pace with the communities as they repair or replace damaged roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure.”

The $1.154 million check is an advance on the $3.4 million in reimbursements Boulder has requested under the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Public Assistance program.

Of the $35.4 million local governments submitted for FEMA reimbursement requests, the state has approved $9.5 million in reimbursements, approximately $4.5 million in just the last 30 days. Another $2.3 million is approved for payment in the next five days.

Under the expedited program, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will reimburse 50 percent of all requests for reimbursements greater than $10,000, after a cursory review, with a $1 million cap for any single reimbursement. The amount cannot exceed more than 50 percent of what FEMA has allocated for the project.

The department also added four additional staff to assist with processing recovery payments, according to Kevin Klein, DHSEM director.

Additionally, the governor authorized $20 million in cash advances out of the state disaster emergency fund, for communities that need help with cash flow for projects. During July, the state distributed $7.3 million in advances.