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FEMA Comes up with Money for Warsaw

Board Chairman David Walker

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to compensate Warsaw for some of the money it paid to repair its  water treatment plant after it was badly damaged by the 2008 flood.

At the time, the city expected to be reimbursed 100% for the repairs. FEMA later decided the city was due 75% of the repair costs because the county didn't meet its poverty guidelines.

City finances were strained to come up with the $285,000. The city has tried to recoup that money ever since.

County Board Chairman said FEMA has agreed to pay two-thirds of the city's share.

He said, “When the check is going to arrive, I'm not positive. But that's what they told me they were going to do. I'm going to hold them to their word.”

He hopes the check will arrive within a month.

The board intervened last month after consulting with the Western Illinois Regional Council. WIRC suggested the board request FEMA reconsider its position under the “urgent need criteria” that would not take the county's poverty rate into account.

The board passed the necessary resolution and FEMA changed its mind.