Joe P. Asher
The city of Cumberland is still working out the details on how to handle a grant awarded to the city by the Federal Emergency Management Agency a few months ago.
During a recent meeting of the Cumberland City Council, Paul Miller of Leo Miller and Associates advised the council about the status of the nearly $3,000,000 grant.
According to Miller, the grant is too large to be administered in the usual way.
“The way FEMA does it is you spend it and they reimburse you,” said Miller. “But this is $2.6 million and the city doesn’t have that type of money up front. We asked for advance funding…we’re still waiting to hear back on that.”
Mayor Carl Hatfield inquired about the reimbursement process.
“Can you give us an estimate, if we do something what would our payment have to be up front for say, one lift station?” inquired Hatfield.
“We’ve got them estimated around $200,000 with the generator and the pads, so it’s pretty expensive,” explained Miller.
Hatfield asked if there would be a possibility of paying a portion of the price up front with the balance paid later after the funds are reimbursed.
“I would like to get the state in here and ask them how fast they can reimburse us,” said Miller. “Because I don’t see any way of building four lift stations and having the city pay that and get reimbursed. We’d have to take a line of credit or some type of loan with a bank to do that. We did that with the pedestrian bridge.”
According to Miller, starting without advance funding could present some problems.
“The contract’s signed — it’s been sent in,” said Miller. “If we start and put it out to bid without getting this advance funding, then we would have to pay the contractor then send in the checks and get reimbursed.”
Miller pointed out this is a problem that must be solved.
“We’re just waiting to hear back whether we’re going to get advance funding. If we don’t, then we’ll have to get together collectively and figure out how we’re going to do this because we can’t let this money go,” said Miller.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com