Marion County to receive FEMA reimbursement for Hurricane Irma

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - Marion County will be reimbursed $9,036,893 for Hurricane Irma disaster relief through FEMA's Public Assistance Program.

The Federal Public Assistance Program was created to help state and local governments cover costs when recovering after a natural disaster.

Marion County officials have waited two years to finally see funds from FEMA after spending millions of dollars in recovery after Hurricane Irma.

"This is partial reimbursement, 22 projects have been submitted,” said Marion County Administrator Mounir Bouyounes.

The county used 25 million dollars from the solid waste reserves fund in cleaning up.

"And any fund we receive in reimbursement will go back into the reserve in Solid Waste,” Bouyounes said.

Between September 18, 2017, and March 3, 2018, the county gathered, and disposed of more than 300-thousand cubic yards of vegetative debris and removed hundreds of damaged trees.

"In the case of debris removal, the type of debris that was removed, where it was taken to, how it was ultimately disposed of, all of that has to be documented,” said FEMA Media Relations Manager David Mace.

It has taken two years for officials to finish the process.

"We require an extensive amount of documentation to ensure that environmental regulations and federal regulations are followed, so it can be a pretty daunting process,” Mace said.

County officials said the other half of the cost incurred after the storm is not an issue, believing that FEMA will cover that as well.

"We have submitted all of our projects and they have been reviewed by FEMA, they have been approved, sent to the state, the state is doing their review now and hopefully very soon we will start seeing that money trickle in,” Bouyounes said.

One-billion dollars has already been given to the state of Florida to help communities all over in hurricane recovery.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has announced that Marion County will receive over $9,000,000 for Hurricane Irma expenses.

The money will help reimburse the county for debris removal.

FEMA says that Marion County disposed of over 350,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris and removed hundreds of trees from September of 2017 until March of 2018.