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More help is on the way ...

PRINCETON — Bureau County is one of 24 Illinois counties approved for federal disaster aid for local governments following the heavy rains and flooding in April.

Gov. Pat Quinn made the announcement on Thursday, thanking the Obama administration for approving the state’s request for federal aid to help local governments in 24 counties recovering from the recent flooding. The federal declaration allows local governments in those counties to seek reimbursement for 75 percent of their eligible flood-related expenses, Quinn said.

In making his announcement, Quinn said the local governments in those counties incurred more than $40 million in costs for their flood fight, public safety and recovery efforts. The 24 approved counties each met the federal threshold of $3.45 per capita.

Locally, Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson said Princeton had about $60,000 in costs due to the April flooding. Those costs included overtime expenses as city crews responded to the flood situation in numerous ways, including pulling electric meters and setting up pumps and traffic controls. There was also some damage to the wasterwater plant with lines and a hill that washed out, Clawson said.

Princeton has already gone through the preliminary application assessment process and will continue to do whatever is needed to get the federal assistance, Clawson said.

On Monday, Bureau County Emergency Services Disaster Agency coordinator Kris Donarski said a meeting will be set up, hopefully some time next week, for local government representatives to get their application packets for the federal disaster assistance. Eligible governmental bodies are tax-supported entities like cities and villages, townships, the county highway department, school districts and public libraries, she said.

More information on the upcoming meeting will be published in the Bureau County Republican as it becomes available, Donarski said.

As reported earlier in the BCR, Bureau County has also been declared eligible for federal disaster assistance for individual households and businesses. To date, 17 Bureau County households have been approved to receive federal disaster assistance for damage costs incurred from the April 17-18 heavy rains and floods.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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