Nearly three years after floods devasted communities along the Elk River, and in the southern part of the Mountain State, many people still need help. But an audit of the state’s disaster spending is showing a lot of work on paying for recovery needs to be done.
Among the recommendations: faster repayment to city’s and counties; the use of state matching funds to bolster federal aid; and making sure federal grant money gets spent before deadlines expire.
“It looks like we’re not communicating with the municipalities and counties and the people that are tasked with putting this money into the ground and actually putting houses and putting communities back together,” Del. Andrew Robinson (D-Kanawha).
One of the big concerns is that the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding has not met since December. There will now be a meeting in late April.
“You know nine months ago I sent a letter to the Governor asking for monthly meetings and everyone acknowledged that we should have done it. But we did not follow through with that,” said State Sen. Glenn Jeffries (D-Putnam).
One issue that has a lot of people worried, is that if federal flood aid has not been spent yet, or has been misspent, communities such as Richwood, may have to give their money back to Washington.
‘It is the oversight. I believe that if we had those meetings, There’d been some questions that would have been asked, that could have possibly brought things to light and that we wouldn’t be in this situation we’re in,” said State. Sen. Glenn Jeffries, (D-Putnam).
This latest audit was done by an independent firm, outside of state government.
The audit report suggests that future disaster aid to West Virginia could be limited if money has been misspent or are unaccounted for.
And we all know that West Virginia is one of the most flood-prone states in the nation.