Governor Asks Senate Committee to Support Bill To Help Communities Pay for Flood Damage

From the Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today asked the Senate Finance Committee to support legislation to help communities rebuild from damage suffered in the October floods.

Normally, the federal government pays 75 percent of disaster costs, and the state and local communities split the remainder equally. Gov. Lynch had asked the legislature to pass a bill, HB 1765, covering all but $5,000 of the match for each community.

" Given the scope of the damage in the floods, the normal disaster match was much more than some of our communities could afford, " Gov. Lynch said. " This legislation will make it financially possible for our communities to continue their rebuilding efforts. "

Gov. Lynch asked the Senate to move quickly to pass the legislation, which has already been approved by the House.

" I hope that by continuing to work together, we can fast track HB 1765 through the Senate approval process. The communities that need this funding deserve our best efforts to deliver on the state ' s promise of assistance without delay, " Gov. Lynch wrote the committee.

The bill was sponsored by Representatives John Gibson, Henry Parkhurst, Jay Phinizy, David Essex, and Dan Eaton, and Senators Tom Eaton and Peter Burling.

In addition to the assistance for the communities, the House yesterday passed legislation - also supported by Gov. Lynch - that would provide assistance to the families hardest hit by the floods.

A copy of Gov. Lynch ' s letter is attached.


# # #

The Honorable Charles W. Morse, Chairman
Senate Finance
State House, Room 100
Concord, NH 03301

Dear Chairman Morse and Committee Members:

I want to thank you for working so closely with me during the past several months to reach agreement on what the State of New Hampshire should do to help those communities damaged as a result of the floods of October 2005. Our plan, embodied in House Bill 1765, to have the state cover all but $5,000 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency ' s (FEMA) required local match for each affected community is reasonable and fair.

The latest estimate of the total cost of flood damage suffered by local communities last October is $12,281,000. Following our plan, funds to cover this cost would come from the following sources:
Source Amount Percentage of Total
FEMA $9,080,000 75%
State $2,911,000 23%
Local Communities $290,000 2%
Total $12,281,000 100%

As shown, we will need to appropriate during this legislative session $2,911,000 to provide the state share of the total disaster relief funding required. FEMA and the local communities themselves will be expected to provide the rest. As you know, the state, FEMA, and the FHWA are continuing to assess our state agency costs incurred from the October storms. We will need to work together in the future on a separate legislative vehicle to appropriate the state share of agency costs once the assessment is finalized.

I hope that by continuing to work together, we can fast track HB 1765 through the Senate approval process. The communities that need this funding deserve our best efforts to deliver on the state ' s promise of assistance without delay. Again, thank you for your support on this matter.

Sincerely,

John H. Lynch
Governor