Schoharie County appeals FEMA decision on jail

Friday, January 31, 2014
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— FEMA's call to rebuild Schoharie County's jail in a high-hazard flood zone is "arbitrary, short-sighted and defies common sense," said an appeal sent to Washington, DC this week.

County flood recovery coordinator and Treasurer William Cherry on Friday issued a letter and summary of the county's appeal which contend the Federal Emergency Management Agency's suggestion the flooded jail be rebuilt where it sits is akin to wasting money.

"There can be no doubt that this building will suffer damage from flooding at some point in the future, and millions more of federal, state and local dollars will be needed to repair the devastation," Cherry said in the letter dated Jan. 29.

The August, 2011 onslaught by Tropical Storm Irene represented the third flooding of the public safety facility off Depot Lane in the Village of Schoharie, Cherry said in the letter.

This time, the building took on "seven feet of raging muddy water filled with gasoline, home heating oil, agricultural chemicals, decomposing farm animals and other toxic debris," Cherry said in the letter.

The county's appeal, developed by Cherry and the county's consulting firm Simmons Recovery, is being sent to Washington, DC following a rejection by FEMA's regional staff.

Read the Appeal Cover Letter here.

Read the Appeal Executive Summary here.

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