Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Press Releases
August 2, 2012
Lt. Governor Kinder praises quick response to disaster committee hearing in Bridgeton
SEMA sending remaining funds, city officials say
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder learned today the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency is sending the remaining funds allocated to the town of Bridgeton to help it recover from the 2011 Good Friday tornado.
At a public hearing Wednesday of the Interim Committee on Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery officials from Bridgeton said they were awaiting payment of more than $500,000 from the state disaster agency.
Kinder is chairman of the committee, which agreed on Wednesday to inquire of SEMA and give the agency 48 hours to respond. Today, Bridgeton officials said SEMA notified them the remaining money was on its way.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency last year allocated more than $800,000 to Bridgeton for tornado recovery, but SEMA had only paid the city about $300,000.
“I’m happy to hear that, after 10 months of waiting, the city of Bridgeton is going to get the rest of the disaster recovery money it so desperately needs,” Kinder said. “I’m glad the work of our committee is already being fruitful for one community that has worked hard to recover from last year’s destructive tornado.”
Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, is vice-chairman of the disaster committee. He said it was “completely unacceptable” to learn $500,000 had been withheld for no justifiable reason after the funds had been approved.
“The committee voted unanimously to ask Governor Nixon to release the funds immediately,” Schoeller said. “The agency took our request seriously by acting immediately to put these much-needed taxpayer dollars into the hands of the City of Bridgeton.”
Schoeller and Kinder both called upon Gov. Nixon and his administration to verify SEMA isn’t withholding other funds that have been allocated for disaster recovery.
Wednesday’s hearing was the second of the committee, which was appointed last month by House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, to assess the state’s ongoing disaster recovery efforts and its preparedness level for future catastrophic events. The panel’s first hearing was Tuesday in Joplin. Other hearings are planned for St. Joseph in northwest Missouri, Charleston in Southeast Missouri and in Jefferson City.
The interim committee will submit a report of its findings and recommendations no later than December 31.