Dateline May 2015
Schoharie County’s Public Safety Building was substantially damaged by flood. This is the most important facility within the county as it provides critical functions: a) E-911 call center, b) the Sheriff’s Department, c) the Emergency Management Office/Coordination Center, d) County Jail and e) Probation Department.
Simmons Recovery was able to demonstrate that FEMA had incorrectly capped the project and failed to conduct the 8-step process required by Executive Order 11988 Floodplain Management. After the first appeal acknowledged those facts and the alternatives to repairing in the floodplain were analyzed through the 8-step process Simmons presented – FEMA began to understand the complexities of the site and the damages.
A solution to the problem was the availability and flexibility of a Section 428 grant which allowed for additional funding so that the county could relocate the facility to higher ground – well outside the floodplain. The new facility will be fully compliant with floodplain management regulations.
Now that a $37.5 million commitment is approved – the design and environmental assessment work can begin.