Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Residents eligible for flood damage assistance

May 30, 2007

Leavenworth County residents affected by recent flooding now qualify for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A new national disaster declaration allows individual home and business owners in Leavenworth and 23 other Kansas counties to apply to FEMA for help covering housing, cleanup and other serious costs incurred and for assistance buying clothing, tools and necessary educational equipment ruined by flooding and severe storms.

Under FEMA's Individual Assistance Program, residents are also eligible to have whatever their insurance deductible did not cover reimbursed, said Chuck Magaha, the county's Emergency Management director.

"The reason we got individual assistance this time was because of Greensburg," Magaha told county commissioners at their meeting Tuesday.

Magaha, who was deployed to Greensburg last week by the state, met with FEMA representatives Monday in Leavenworth.

His advice for affected residents:

"If you haven't contacted the FEMA hotline yet, you need to do so. That number is 1-800-621-FEMA. The folks on the ground here will check daily to see if there are any new applicants."

According to the office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., applicants will need their Social Security number, current and predisaster address, phone numbers, type of insurance coverage, total household annual income and a routing and account number from their bank if they want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into their bank account.

If there is damage, Magaha said to contact the County Appraiser's Office at (913) 684-0440 as well, so that the damage can be assessed.

Magaha stressed that any losses must be adequately documented if compensation is to occur.

"Pictures are always great before and after a disaster," he said.

In addition to individual assistance, Magaha said municipalities in the county could also receive public assistance to help with damaged buildings and infrastructure.

FEMA uses public assistance grants to reimburse up to 75 percent of the costs that governments sustain, provided there is $3.03 of damage per capita, or in the case of Leavenworth County, roughly $221,000.

Magaha said he was confident Leavenworth County would receive public assistance but that he would know for sure in a couple of weeks.

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

  • Discussed giving more direction to architects with Horst, Terrill and Karst of Topeka, the firm hired to design a new Emergency Medical Services station near the intersection of 16th Street and Metro-politan Ave-nue behind the Metro-politan Steak-house in Leaven-worth.

Commiss-ioner Dean Oroke said additions to the preliminary plans keep appearing without discussion before the commission.

County Counselor David Van Parys suggested giving architects a specific budget that cannot be overreached for the project.

"We need to get these people's attention, which I think we've failed to do so far," Commissioner Clyde Graeber said.

  • Discussed a complaint made Wednesday, May 23, by a Lansing businessman that construction along Main Street was taking causing him to shut down.

Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson asked if there was something the commission could do to aid the businessman, including referring him to the Kansas Department of Transportation or the Department of Commerce.

Graeber said if there was something to be done, he did not know what it could be.

  • Approved, 2-0 (Oroke was away at a meeting), the final plat for the DML subdivision, a five-acre parcel west of Tonganoxie owned by Larry and Lois Meadows; the parcel will be split into two lots.
  • Approved, 2-0, the final plat for German Acres, a four-lot subdivision northwest of the intersection of Leavenworth Road and 175th Road, just outside Basehor city limits, provided that the northern boundary of the property is incorporated into Basehor's urban growth management area.
  • Approved, 2-0, the final plat for Young Subdivision, a two-lot parcel south of the intersection of Evans Road and 182nd Street in southern Leavenworth County owned by Don and Constance Young.
  • Unanimously approved a one-year contract renewal for Anne deShazo, the administrative contact for the 1st Judicial District's Juvenile Justice Authority, in the amount of $35,598. DeShazo is paid through grants provided to the JJA.

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