By DAVID KRIER
Nearly nine months after floodwaters inundated dozens of Boscobel homes, flood relief funds are finally being disbursed.
“The process has been slower than it’s been in the past due to requirement changes at the state and federal level,” said Steve Braun, Grant County Emergency Management Director. “It’s unfortunate it’s taken so long, but it’s moving along now.”
The city of Boscobel received nearly $500,000 in emergency block grant funds to assist homeowners affected by the flooding of June 22-23, 2013. Now those funds are being disbursed to income-eligible families at or below 80 percent of the median Grant County income.
“We’re still in the process of verifying documentation from applicants,” Braun said. “We certainly don’t want to leave anyone behind.”
There is a possibility that flood-affected homeowners earning as much as 100 percent of the county median income—$37,500 for a family of two—could be eligible for flood relief funds, but that has yet to be determined by the state.
“There have been a lot of questions about eligibility,” Braun said.
The first CDBG-EAP grant funds were distributed by the city’s Community Development Block Grant Committee to six applicants during their Feb. 26 meeting, including:
•$2,222 for a new furnace;
•$2,400 for roof/ceiling repair;
•$3,640 for furnace replacement/duct work;
•$5,018 for air conditioner replacement and miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses;
•$340 for materials to repair basement walls; and
•$7,000 for landscape/water diversion issues and wet-proofing basement, contingent upon verification that applicant is income/asset eligible.
In addition to the $500,000 in CDBG-EAP funds, there is also about $100,000 in donated funds being distributed by the Long-term Recovery Committee to homeowners who are not income/asset eligible. Much of that money was raised during a Chamber of Commerce fundraiser last summer. Of the $100,000, about $20,000 has been distributed.
“We’ve decided to put that committee on hold for awhile until we know exactly who qualifies, and we’re a few weeks away from that. There’s a lot more money in the other fund and we’d like to distribute that first if we can,” Braun said. “We’ve had about 60 applications to the Long-term Recovery Committee and did fund some that were obviously not going to qualify for EAP funds.”