The waters receded months ago, but many public budgets in the area were soaked by the unanticipated expenses brought about in last spring’s floods long afterward.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that DuPage County will get a hand from Washington, D.C., in recouping much of the expense the county incurred in the recovery work that followed the deluges and flooding of April 17 and 18.
The $7 million relief payment, coming through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program, is part of $28.8 million allocated for northern Illinois to help recoup public funds expended in the response. Other recipients and the amounts they are slated to receive include Chicago, $4.3 million; Cook County, $13.9 million; and the state of Illinois, $3.6 million, according to a news release from the agency.
The funds are not yet in hand, nor are the parameters for putting them to use. Dave Gervino, the county’s emergency coordinator, said representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have not yet finished meeting with area municipalities to gauge the havoc wrought by the spring deluges.
Private citizens, however, have already applied for and received relief directly from FEMA, he said.
“We want our residents to receive help first, of course,” said Gervino, adding that he has not officially received word from the federal level about how the DuPage aid is to be used.
Applicants for the funds were eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of what was spent after the floods for such expenses as contract labor, overtime pay and sandbags. But Gervino is awaiting specific instructions for using the money.
“I think it’s going to be another couple of weeks before we receive the guidelines,” he said. “That obviously will determine what we can do with it.”