County to submit more requests for federal flood aid

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Four months after floods devastated Gwinnett and much of metro Atlanta, county officials got the go-ahead to begin submitting paperwork for federal reimbursement.

An agenda item Tuesday included about $2.6 million in flood-related expenses, all involving roads damaged by torrents of water. An agreement approved with the Georgia Office of Homeland Security allows the county to accept the first payment of $10,000.

Finance Director Aaron Bovos said the vote allows county officials to continue submitting requests for the total $12.7 million the disaster cost the government, including overtime to emergency responders, stormwater damage and other expenses.

"I want to thank our finance department staff for diligently pursuing all opportunities to obtain reimbursement for these flood-related expenses," said Commission Chairman Charles Bannister.

Officials expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance Program to take care of 75 percent of the costs, with the state's emergency agency expected to take on 10 percent and the county left to bear 15 percent of the expenses.

A press release said eligible expenses include the cost of repairing roads, shoulders, guardrails, sidewalks and county buildings, plus debris removal from county parks and staff salaries and benefits for emergency work. The initial payment is for repair work on Arcado Road, Old Norcross Road, Patterson Road and Cole Drive, the release said.