Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge says the federal decision to reduce the matching funds Iowa would have to come up with to cover the initial emergency response to this spring’s tornadoes and flooding is much appreciated. But Judge says having the feds pay 90 percent of those costs — for things like sandbagging — with the state and local governments covering the other 10 percent, could prove very difficult.
"We need all the help we can get and communities like Oakdale, Palo — all up and down the river — there is just no way they can come up with a match," Judge says. "Their infrastructure is done. The community is literally destroyed."
Judge says when the initial tally was submitted to the federal government, some costs weren’t fully assessed. "We will be submitting additional information and hopefully they will take a second look at our request," Judge says. "…The responsible thing for us to do is make those numbers known, that assessment known as best we can — and hope and ask for a reconsideration of that cost breakdown."
President Bush has signed declarations which allow for federal help to rebuild publicly-owned — government-owned — infrastructure in 77 Iowa counties. Today’s decision is only about how much each level of government — city, county, state and federal — should pay to cover the initial emergency expenses involved in responding to the storms. A decision about how much each level of government must pay for things like debris removal or rebuilding roads and bridges has not been made.