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FEMA discusses disaster recovery with Pierce County applicants

July 28, 2017
Carissa Mavec - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

FEMA held a Public Assistance/Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs Applicant Briefing Tuesday, July 25 at the Pierce County Courthouse to discuss disaster recovery 4323, 2017 Overland Flooding Event.

The riverine and overland flooding affected the declared counties and Indian Reservations of Benson, Bottineau, Cavalier, McHenry, Renville, Rolette, Pierce, Pembina, Towner and Walsh Counties and the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe Reservation.

The disaster happened between March 23 and April 29, and was declared on July 12, 2017.

Final permanent work project completion is expected on January 12, 2019.

During Tuesday's Applicant Briefing, FEMA Infrastructure Branch Chief Gary Glover explained the new program delivery module that is being used for this project.

Changes brought to the new module have to do with applicants' complaints in former projects concerning changes in the final stages of the program that the applicants were unaware of. With this new module, there will be a single program delivery manager and a single site inspector. After the information is sent to a consolidated project center, that same program delivery manager and the state will review it. Throughout the entire process, the applicant will have viewing access to that information so there are no changes to the final product that are not made aware to the applicant.

"Nothing happens without communication between [the project center], the program delivery manager, the applicant and the state," Glover said.

State Public Assistance officer Randy Reimer assured applicants that the new program delivery module is expected to ultimately help in getting projects done more efficiently.

"The regulations and policies have not changed, it's just the way the project worksheets are being processed and the delivery method [that has changed]," he said. "It's our goal here to get this disaster done as soon as possible. FEMA wants to teach us how to do this program the right way, then we'll take it a step at a time from there."

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