Flood recovery check headed to Estes Park

ESTES PARK, Colo. - Governor John Hickenlooper is delivering flood recovery money to Estes Park Thursday.

The check is only a small portion of the millions of federal dollars allocated to help Colorado recover from the September 2013 floods, but little of that money has actually made it to communities that suffered infrastructure damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency allocated the funds to reimburse municipalities for large percentages of the cost of the work, but few of the projects have been approved for reimbursements at this time.

Wednesday, Hickenlooper visited Boulder to deliver a $1.154 million check. State spokesman Tom Schilling explained the check was an advance on the $3.4 million in reimbursements Boulder County has requested so far under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.

The advance was part of $20 million Hickenlooper authorized in state funds. That money can be used to reimburse 50 percent of higher cost projects ($10,000+) that require a longer review for FEMA funds. There is a $1 million cap for any single reimbursement under this program.

Hickenlooper's office also says the state is working to streamline the process of reviewing and approving the reimbursement requests. Four staff members were added to help process the requests.

Schilling said Wednesday that municipalities have filed requests for $35.4 million in reimbursements to date. $9.5 million of those have been approved, including $4.5 million in the past 30 days.

The reimbursement process is long because of strict paperwork requirements set by FEMA to protect against mismanagement.

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