The City of Aiken has so far received roughly $1.2 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for emergency and recovery work completed due to February’s ice storm.
Mutual aid payments made to cities and towns who assisted during Winter Storm Pax:
– Clinton: $5,074.22
– Rock Hill: $7,147.00
– Lexington: $5,332.51
– Springdale: $693.42
– Greenwood: $21,207.78
– Greenville: $143,199.18
Currently, the City has two checks in hand for mutual aid work completed by City crews and other municipalities, including Lexington and Greenville, after the storm. Reportedly, a third check is in the mail.
City employees worked many hours cleaning up debris, removing hangers and enacting protective measures after Winter Storm Pax dropped more than an inch of ice on Aiken County. Because of that work, the City racked up emergency and recovery expenses, hoping the federal government and the state would reimburse it in full.
The City received a check for about $562,076 – roughly $99,000 less than requested – for a possible 85 percent reimbursement for the first 30 days of storm cleanup, according to City officials. The second check was for about $61,707 – roughly $20,000 less than requested – for a possible 75 percent reimbursement for emergency protected measures.
The third check will come in at about $619,920 for debris removal work from 31 to 90 days following the storm. That check is about $154,000 less than requested, according to the City.
The City hopes to receive more reimbursement checks – one for debris removal from 91 to 180 days, another for public buildings and equipment and another for items including parks, recreation and tourism facilities.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley requested in May the legislature vote to appropriate a little more than $16 million of additional nonrecurring funds to counties and state agencies affected by February’s ice storm. With that request, Haley asked that about $150,000 go toward departments of public safety.
Aiken City Councilman Dick Dewar requested during a Council meeting on Monday that a letter, on behalf the City of Aiken, be sent to the state legislature.
“In this case, the legislature didn’t appropriate any money,” Dewar said. “Because session is out until January, I’d like to send a letter to make it clear we would like them to support reimbursement – otherwise it comes out of us.”
Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard.