FEMA changes tune on aid for State Office Complex
MONTPELIER – Federal funding for the Waterbury state office complex and state hospital could be reduced or even ineligible.
Agency of Administration Deputy Secretary of Michael Clasen told committee members Friday that emergency aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in jeopardy, which could make a gap of about $120 million between expenses and current money earmarked.
Clasen said FEMA has currently disavowed itself of the aid, even though multiple federal officials had indicated Vermont would receive
up to 90 percent federal aid. FEMA will give a new range of the anticipated funding in four weeks, Clasen said.
The possible ineligibility is due to whether FEMA is interpreting the state hospital as "destroyed" and whether state repairs to a heating
plant canceled federal aid, state officials said. Clasen said FEMA is suggesting the aid will not be as great as initially proposed.
The estimated construction costs for the state hospital, Waterbury state office complex, and other costs like retrofitting the National Life building for state employees is nearly $183 million.
Insurance and state funds currently expect to cover $62.7 million.
Read more about this story in tomorrow's Times Argus.