Bennet Pushed to Change Regulatory Interpretations that Initially Prevented Larimer County from Receiving Reimbursements from FEMA to Repair Damage from the 2013 Floods
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that Larimer County will receive a $2.9 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair County Road 47 in Southern Larimer County, which was damaged by the 2013 floods.
"I’m pleased that Larimer County will receive this reimbursement to help with repair of the only road to the community of Big Elk Meadows,” said Bennet. “The 2013 floods devastated communities in Colorado and damaged critical local infrastructure that keeps residents safe and economies growing. I’m glad Larimer County continues to receive the resources it needs to keep rebuilding its communities and prepare for future flood events."
FEMA initially denied Boulder County and Larimer County Public Assistance (PA) reimbursement for several road repair projects from the 2013 floods because of a regulatory interpretation that required all projects in a county to follow county codes uniformly, regardless of specific structural and safety needs for a particular project. These regulatory interpretations were holding up $37 million in reimbursement for Boulder County and $19 million for Larimer County. In 2018, Bennet sent two letters to FEMA supporting Boulder County and Larimer County and urging FEMA to change the policy.
In October 2018, Michael voted for the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which provided flexibility by establishing consensus-based codes and standards for Public Assistance. After passing the fix, Bennet contacted FEMA once again urging the agency to swiftly implement guidance pursuant to the legislation.
In December 2019, FEMA published the interim guidance and has since been working with the counties to distribute reimbursement.