Boone County to get federal aid to help pay storm clean-up costs

Sunday, December 31, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:26 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

Boone County will be eligible for federal aid to help cover clean-up costs of a snowstorm that dumped more than 16 inches of snow in some areas earlier this month.

Gov. Matt Blunt sent a letter to President Bush on Dec. 16, requesting the winter snowstorm be declared a major disaster. The storm, which started Nov. 30 and crippled city services for several days, knocked out power to more than 250,000 Missourians. Bush granted Blunt’s request late Friday.

The declaration gives eligible counties, local governments and nonprofit organizations shared access to federal funds.

“Clean-up from the fatal storms is still under way as communities and local governments struggle with the rising cost of debris removal and emergency response,” Blunt said in a news release Saturday.

For the city of Columbia that cost is estimated at $250,000, according to a snow removal report issued by City Manager Bill Watkins and Public Works Director John Glascock.

Boone County — which qualifies for federal aid along with Cole, Greene, Iron, Reynolds, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, and Washington counties — will seek aid to cover the cost of fuel, salt and overtime pay, among other things.

“Once a federal disaster has been declared, typically state and federal aid reimburse local costs about 85 percent,” Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller said.

This marks Missouri’s first major disaster declaration since March, when storms swept through large portions of the state.

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