Record snow removal costs $1.7 million; county seeks federal money

Thursday, February 17, 2011 | 11:34 a.m. CST; updated 9:42 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 17, 2011

COLUMBIA — With the costs of the recent snowstorm totaling about $1.7 million so far, Columbia and Boone County are seeking reimbursement.

Only government agencies and tax-supported special districts are eligible for federal assistance, according to a news release from the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management.

Costs include snow removal, supplies, equipment, personnel and damage, the release stated.

Boone County has met the criteria to obtain federal money to assist with snow-removal costs. The criteria indicate the storm must be a record or near-record snowfall, and the county must have incurred a cost of $443,000 within a 48-hour-period, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency directive.

It can take as long as six months to win reimbursement, however. Zim Schwartze, director of the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management, said the process can be very complicated and is based on strict guidelines.

Schwartze said the Office of Emergency Management is still collecting information and is working with the State Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to complete the list of approved costs for the snow removal, according to the news release. If the final estimates are approved, the federal government will foot 75 percent of the bill, and local government will pick up the remaining 25 percent. 

In comparison with the application process, "the actual snow event was the easy part for this office," Schwartze said in the release.

At the state level, if Missouri meets a cost of $7.2 million and the White House issues a "declaration of disaster," a public assistance coordinator will be dispatched to Missouri to assist in the application process, the FEMA directive stated.

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Corey Parks February 17, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

And when the Federal Gov't realizes they actually have no money. How long will Columbia have to wait for that Slow Boat from China that is delivering the cash?

(Report Comment)
jim lemon February 18, 2011 | 9:44 a.m.

They want federal money? Forget that.
How about going to Jeff City for help.
The people that you elected to represent you in times of good and in times of need.
This is definitely a time of need.
I just know the good legislators there will help.

(Report Comment)

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