Friendswood reimbursed $4.4 million for post-Harvey cleanup

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Updated (5 p.m. Oct. 24) : Additional information about reimbursements was added.

The city of Friendswood has received $4.4 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover debris removal after Hurricane Harvey, the city announced Wednesday.

The city paid $4.6 million overall for debris removal, with the city’s 10 percent share totaling $489,698. The city has applied to a state program for additional reimbursement assistance.

It is impressive that the city has received the full 90 percent reimbursement from FEMA, communications specialist Jeff Newpher said.

“The process was made quicker and easier because we have experienced staff that knew what would be required after the storm had come and gone,” Newpher said. “Now, the citizens of Friendswood are benefiting from that foresight and that discipline that was in place in December 2017, because now we are getting reimbursed in full.”

After Hurricane Ike, the city spent $9.75 million in recovery expenses, but it took 2 years to be reimbursed 85 percent, according to previous Community Impact Newspaper reporting.

The city is still waiting for other Harvey-releated reimbursements from FEMA, including $650,000 in disaster-related personnel expenses.

The funds for the debris removal come from the FEMA Public Assistance grant program, which refunds cities for post-disaster cleanup.

The money will go to the city’s fund balance and will replenish its reserve fund, which helped finance Harvey recovery efforts.

This is separate from the money that may come to homeowners who have applied for federal grants.

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Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. In her tenure as a reporter, she has primarily written about education, health care and transportation.
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