It's not clear yet whether the Oklahoma counties recently cited by the state auditor for inadequate documentation of FEMA relief funds will be required to pay that money back, but it could happen. For a variety of reasons, including inadequate documentation, FEMA has required other public jurisdictions to repay all or a portion of the grants they received in the wake of a disaster declaration. We've listed a few of those instances below, along with a link to the full Dept. of Homeland Security report.
Earlier this month, FEMA asked the town of Dauphin Island, Alabama, to repay $2.8 million in disaster funds from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The agency said it paid the town more money than was needed to complete disaster recovery work.
FEMA recovered $262,000 from Port Arthur, Texas, for costs related to Hurricane Rita. FEMA said the city's records for fuel costs were incomplete, and it didn't complete all the projects for which it received disaster assistance.
FEMA recovered $8.5 million from Baldwin County, Alabama, for disaster recover from hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina. FEMA said charges for debris removal were excessive, other charges were duplicated, and the county recovered some money from insurance but didn't deduct it from its FEMA grant.
A Columbia, Missouri, fire district agreed to repay FEMA $213,000 for misusing and improperly documenting FEMA funds from 2002-07.
FEMA recovered $245,000 from the Western Farmers Electric Cooperative in Anadarko. FEMA said the utility didn't properly spend and document disaster funds related to debris removal work.
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