State to help pay for flood recovery

Usually counties and cities foot costs not covered by the feds

Keywords: Economy (general),

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper wants the state treasury to pay half of the local share for recovery costs from last week’s Front Range floods.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency usually pays 75 percent of the costs, with the rest paid by the affected counties and cities. “Soft” contributions, like volunteer labor, count toward the local match.

But Hickenlooper thinks the disaster is so widespread that the state will have to help counties with at least half of their share, his chief of staff, Roxane White, told the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Friday.

The governor’s office might be back at the JBC as early as this week to request extra funding for staff involved in flood recovery, White said.

The big costs are not yet known, however.

Jerre Stead, the governor’s newly appointed chief recovery officer, said 75 percent of the damage assessments have been completed – a number that pleasantly surprised him. He did not have a dollar figure, though.

The rest of the damage assessments will have to wait for waters to recede.

jhanel@durangoherald.com