Funding appropriated by the Idaho Legislature to address damage to roads and other infrastructure from record snowfall and related flooding is on its way to communities throughout the state, according to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management.
In signing the legislation allocating a total of $50 million for disaster relief, Governor “Butch” Otter cited the immediate need to address the devastating results of winter weather.
“What we have seen firsthand in these communities throughout the state is unprecedented damage to essential transportation routes,” Otter said. “The goal was to get the ball rolling as soon as possible and this is exactly the kind of swift action I wanted to see.”
The Idaho Office of Emergency Management and the Emergency Relief Fund Panel created a process under which local jurisdictions could apply for emergency money.
The $50 million that was appropriated will be awarded to cities, counties and highway districts through three application rounds -- the first two awarding up to $15 million for eligible projects and the third awarding $20 million.
After assessing the first round of applications, the ERF Panel awarded almost $15 million to 54 projects in ninteen local jurisdictions.
The next two deadlines for applications are June 15 and July 1 of this year.
“Utilizing this money to address the needs of all Idaho communities is prudent and important,” Lieutenant Governor Brad Little stated. “Idaho now has two Presidential Disaster Declarations -- and 35 of our 44 counties have local or state disaster declarations, so we know the need is critical. I (recently) traveled throughout the state with the Governor and talked to community members who agree that getting our roadways fixed has to be a priority.”
The Idaho Office of Emergency Management is now accepting applications for the second round of funding. Based on the volume of applications for round one, IOEM officials say they expect the application process to be “very competitive.”