The Independent

August 6, 2003

Aid to local governments approved after flood

Copley News Service

WASHINGTON - The federal government Wednesday approved aid for local governments in Stark and seven other northeast Ohio counties hit by severe flooding last month.

The counties sustained more than $12 million in damage to public infrastructure, Gov. Bob Taft said.

Unlike previously announced aid, which is directed toward residents and businesses, the most recently approved assistance is for cities, counties and other local governments.

The assistance will pay 75 percent of the cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the flooding and storm damage, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities. Such facilities include roads, buildings and utilities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Emergency Management Agency said.

The eight counties eligible for public assistance are Stark, Summit, Columbiana, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Trumbull and Jefferson.

Damage totals to public facilities in the counties includes $1.3 million in Stark, $2.1 million in Summit, $847,900 in Portage, $1.8 million in Mahoning and $677,500 in Columbiana.

Aid to residents and businesses was earlier approved for Stark, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit and Trumbull counties.

Officials plan to announce a series of briefings to explain procedures for applying for the aid to local governments.

In addition, funding to support improvements to help prevent or reduce flooding in the future will be available down the road, said FEMA spokesman Russ Edmonston.