Bennet, Gardner, Polis, Buck Urge FEMA to Reimburse Counties for Flood Disaster Recovery Projects

COLORADO – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) and U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D) and Ken Buck (R) today joined together to urge Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William Long to reimburse Colorado counties for disaster recovery projects following the 2013 floods and provide guidance to ensure pending projects will be reimbursed. 

Due to a recent interpretation of FEMA regulations, Boulder County could lose an expected $40 to $50 million in reimbursements for flood recovery projects—several of which have already been completed. Larimer County could lose an expected $20 million. 

“We […] request the agency provide interim guidance as soon as possible to ensure Colorado communities recovering from the devastating 2013 flood can proceed with certainty that they will be reimbursed for ongoing flood recovery projects,” the lawmakers wrote.

The interpretation requires that all disaster recovery projects—regardless of type or location—follow specific, uniform codes in order to be eligible for reimbursement. In the letter, the lawmakers outlined how this is preventing local municipalities from rebuilding in the most resilient and cost-effective way. This is especially true in counties like Boulder and Larimer, where facilities are located in mountain canyons and therefore should not be subject to the same codes as facilities in locations with different terrains. 

A copy of the letter is available HERE