Sunday, July 13, 2014

County to divvy $15.7 million in federal flood aid

February 20. 2013 12:33AM
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Luzerne County Community Development Director Andrew Reilly said he has received applications from multiple municipalities seeking a share of the county's $15.7 million federal flood recovery allocation. Dec. 31 was the deadline to apply.

Reilly said his office will complete a summary of the requested projects and amounts by the end of the week.

A committee of county employees and at least one nonprofit representative will evaluate and rank the applications before submitting a recommendation to county Manager Robert Lawton, who will then seek county council approval.

There is no deadline for the county to spend the money, said Reilly, though the administration plans to act swiftly to correct lingering damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Those disasters occurred in 2011, but some waiting was necessary because the money was meant to fill gaps not covered by insurance or previous state and federal disaster assistance awards, he said.

Jenkins Township Supervisor Stanley Rovinski said his municipality has requested funding to purchase and demolish two unoccupied, flood-damaged homes off Market Street. These structures were not included in the pending buyout of 66 other properties, he said.

Plymouth Township, West Pittston and Shickshinny also have applied for funding, officials say. The three municipalities were among the hardest hit when Lee caused the Susquehanna River to swell to a record 42.66 feet.

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