Breaking News Bar
posted: 6/19/2013 2:33 PM

Des Plaines won't get federal flooding aid

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Des Plaines firefighters surround the fire station on River Road with sandbags after the April 17 storm. City officials said this week they won't be getting any public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

       Des Plaines firefighters surround the fire station on River Road with sandbags after the April 17 storm. City officials said this week they won't be getting any public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Many roads in and out of downtown Des Plaines were closed off during the April flooding.

       Many roads in and out of downtown Des Plaines were closed off during the April flooding.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Des Plaines will get zero dollars in public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the estimated $2 million in expenses incurred by the city in response to the April flooding, officials said this week.

That's because Cook County wasn't eligible for the funding. It was the only one of the 40 affected Illinois counties that applied for the federal money not to get approval. Locally, the federal disaster declaration covers DuPage, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties, where local governments can recoup as much as 75 percent of their flooding expenses.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Gov. Pat Quinn's office said expenses in Cook County reached $9.3 million, short of the $17.9 million in damage needed for the county to qualify for assistance. Counties have to show $3.45 in damage per person to get help. The governor's office has pledged to keep working to try to get federal help for Cook County.

Des Plaines was among the hardest hit areas by the April 17 storm and ensuing flooding, which affected nearly 2,000 properties in the city. Des Plaines received a refund after the 2008 flood because Cook County met the threshold that year, city Finance Director Dorothy Wisniewski said.

"For Des Plaines, it was worse (than the 2008 flooding), but you have to look at all of Cook County. It's not just the city that gets approved," Wisniewski said.

Individual homeowners and businesses may still qualify for federal aid, but the city is on its own.

Though overall personnel costs and final invoices are still being tallied, the total expense to Des Plaines should be around $2 million. The money to cover that will come out of the city's general fund reserve, which had a balance of around $23 million on Dec. 31, Wisniewski said.

"We are talking about serious cash," Des Plaines Mayor Matthew Bogusz told the city council this week.

The city has enough money saved up so that it didn't need to take out a short-term loan to cover flooding expenses, as it has in the past when reserves were low, he said.

"As we head into this budget, it's going to be incredibly important that we continue to maintain adequate reserves and work to pay down our debt," he said. "If we don't, we could be in a position where we don't have the money in the bank to do these kinds of flood responses."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.