Gov. Jay Nixon announced Feb. 4, that the state of Missouri will reimburse communities in Oregon County and across southern Missouri more than $4 million for expenses incurred as a result of a devastating ice storm in January 2009.
"This devastating ice storm hit as Missourians and local governments were facing tough economic times and tight budgets," Gov. Nixon said. "When I visited the affected communities, I was continually impressed with the resilience of our citizens and with the way faith-based and community groups were lending a hand to assist their neighbors in need. Despite the difficult economic times, I think it's now vital to our recovery for the state to lend a hand and assist local governments and agencies with rebuilding infrastructure and reimbursing for expenditures related to emergency response. This state assistance will help move Missouri forward."
The storm left up to two inches of ice in its wake. On Feb. 17, 2009, in response to a request from Gov. Nixon, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in Missouri, which ultimately included 21 Missouri counties. The declaration meant the federal government will pay 75 percent of the expenses of approved repairs made by public jurisdictions in the affected counties.
Gov. Nixon's action, which he announced at a meeting of the County Commissioners Association of Missouri, means that the state will reimburse 10 percent of the costs incurred by municipal and county governments, school districts, fire and ambulance districts and other government agencies. It is now estimated that public jurisdictions incurred more than $42.3 million in expenses as a direct result of the ice storm.
In Oregon County alone, as of Feb. 4, expenses from the storm are expected to total almost $1.25 million. Based on current estimated project expenses in Oregon County, the state would reimburse a total of almost $125,000 to the following public entities:
* Alton, $2,262
* Koshkonong, $1,144
* Oregon County, $23,574
* Oregon-Howell R-3 School District, $100
* Thayer, $75,240
* Thayer R-2 Public Schools, $100
* Thayer Special Road District, $22,487
Twenty-one Missouri counties were included in the major disaster declaration and are eligible for assistance. Those counties are Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney and Wayne.