Columbia/Boone County Estimate Snow Removal Cost Nearly $1.7 Million
COLUMBIA - Costs from the blizzard during the week of January 31st are estimated at nearly $1.7 million. The Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) said the costs include, snow removal, supplies, equipment, personnel and damages. Boone County received record snowfall and exceeded the county's per capita cost threshold.
"We're talking about hospitals, schools - school districts - the universities, colleges," OEM Director Zim Schwartze said. "So it's everyone right now that we have talked to, just to make sure that we met our threshold..." for Federal aid.
Gov. Nixon has to issue a declaration of disaster for the state to receive Federal aid. After the Governor makes a declaration of disaster it will take 6 months to know if Columbia and Boone County will receive federal aid for costs related to the blizzard.
"This is a very long process- we start dealing with the State Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency - SEMA and FEMA," Schwartze said. "At this point we're in the very early stages - and that's just collecting some rough data from everyone."
If federal aid doesn't come through, smaller agencies may have trouble getting back to normal budgets. But, Schwartze does not anticipate a problem.
"With the amount that we have in our county, and the other counties and the state as a whole, we're certainly hoping that this will help get some relief to us in this area," Scwartze said.
While the Office of Emergency Management does not need more data, Schwartze said the office will still add claims to the list. Any tax support agency can apply for payback by contacting Schwartze at 573-874-7400.