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Mon Nov 20, 2017, 03:23 AM

FEMA penalties for some uninsured public buildings could cost governments in Livingston, Ascension

A long-standing FEMA penalty designed to encourage local governments to buy flood insurance for their buildings and equipment may end up costing a few of the hardest-hit parishes and school boards tens of millions in federal recovery assistance for the 2016 flood, authorities said.

Livingston Parish school officials said they are looking at $20 million in lost federal grant dollars for flooded buildings at 16 school campuses and the School Board office complex. Ascension Parish schools officials said their loss in grant dollars could be closer to $21 million for 50 uninsured buildings.

For Ascension Parish government, one official estimated that penalty and other Federal Emergency Management Agency decisions could reduce federal assistance for $12.7 million in damage to buildings and roads by up to 75 percent.

The prospect of the penalty, up to $500,000 per building, hasnít stopped progress on repair of buildings, some of which are finished and some are still being fixed up. The penalty, however, amounts to yet another wrinkle in receiving federal help and has forced affected governments to adjust how they financed repairs upfront, officials noted. It has also led to calls for a congressional fix that could eliminate or mitigate the penalty.

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_ff0e8950-c956-11e7-9c1b-03bcd8a8f2e4.html

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