State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) and several of his House Republican Colleagues today sent a personal appeal to President Obama seeking to overturn the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of monetary assistance to municipalities and other public entities working to rebuild their communities following the devastating November 17, 2013 tornados.
“Families in Gifford and other communities throughout the state are struggling to put their lives and their communities back together after the devastating storms and a big part of that is repairing damaged infrastructure. That cost falls on the already cash-strapped municipalities and other public entities that simply don’t know how they’re going to be able to do it without Federal help,” Hays said.
Representative Hays and fellow House Republicans representing communities hit by the November tornados this week sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging the president to intervene in support of the State of Illinois’ appeal of FEMA’s denial of public assistance.
Representative Hays said the core of the problem is the formula by which FEMA calculates disaster relief eligibility based on damage dollar amounts and population. Hays said given Illinois’ large concentration of population in Cook County, unless the damage occurs there Illinois is unlikely to ever qualify under the current formula.
“The formula is inherently unfair to communities in Illinois. Had the same amount of damage been incurred by small communities in Indiana, they would have almost certainly been approved for assistance. I want to work with members of our Congressional delegation to revise the formula,” Hays said. “Residents of Gifford are hardworking and self-sufficient, and in most cases, wouldn’t ask for help from the Federal government. It’s unacceptable that when a true emergency strikes and they need help, they are denied.”