Tom Morse, a selectman from Barnard, says the recovery process has gone reasonably well there. Unfortunately, like a lot of other Vermont towns, the town is feeling slightly mired in bureaucratic paperwork and the hoops surrounding them.
“The FEMA dance is beyond odious,” Morse says.
While Barnard’s damage was mostly infrastructure, and it is all back into place at this point, there still are four structures yet to be replaced (one of which is under appeal after a denial by FEMA). Two houses were damaged and both have been repaired.
Barnard has spent well over $1 million and has received about $270,000 in FEMA funds. Morse says the state Agency of Transportation has informed the town that more money is available, but it requires a lengthy paperwork shuffle, which may be difficult to execute. The town is relying on the state’s promise that no more than a 3-cent raise in the tax rate will be necessary, which in Barnard is about $100,000 and was approved by voters at the 2012 town meeting to cover the town’s share of flood repair liability.
Barnard is focusing on getting the Barnard General Store up and running again. It closed its doors after 180 years this past May. The town celebrated “Barnard Day” the weekend of Aug. 11.