Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

FEMA on the Way?

The tornado damage in Elmira is totaling thousands of dollars, but federal or state money most likely wont be coming to the rescue.

FEMA on the Way?
 

August 1, 2012

Elmira (WENY) - The tornado damage in Elmira is totaling thousands of dollars, but federal or state money most likely wont be coming to the rescue. Elmira's code enforcement staff and inspectors from across the state have been assessing the damage caused by last weeks tornado. So far they found 20 severely damaged properties, 128 with moderate damage and 169 with minimal damage. But that's still not enough to get FEMA to reimburse the city. Elmira city manager John Burin says the city doesn't qualify for Federal relief money. He says the city should be able to pay for the cleanup without FEMA's help. He's been meeting with with state and federal emergency management officials and they have determined the city would not be eligible because the total would need to exceed $26 million. The city will have to go to the bond market in order to cover the cost of repairs and clean up. It's still too early to know how exactly how much the disaster will cost. Low interest loans may also become available. Burin says most likely they cost will have to be absorbed by the upcoming budget.

     “Whatever you borrow there becomes a payment for that and that becomes part of our next budget so there’s definitely an impact to the tax payers, but with that being said it could have been a lot worse. We received a lot of help from a lot of different agencies,” says Burin.

     The city is compiling the final numbers to figure how much they need to borrow. Then the city will pass a resolution authorizing the city to buy a bond for that amount of money.