Joplin City Council Reviews the Tornado Financial Impact Summary

Joplin City Council Reviews the Tornado Financial Impact Summary
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Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert got emotional during tonight’s City Council meeting as they discussed the final financial impact summary of the 2011 tornado.

“It’s just very humbling to look at these numbers and realize the progress, the optimism and the excitement we find within a community that has experienced such a tragic loss,” says Mayor Seibert.

Finance Director Leslie Haase also announced that the city has spent a total of $18.7 million in disaster related costs. That total is comprised of $16.7 million of reimbursable costs and nearly $2 million of non-reimbursable costs.

At this point, all of the FEMA and SEMA reimbursement requests have been turned in.

“The city has received all of its payments from the insurance carrier, so we’re totally done with the insurance, we only have 1 reimbursement request left with the CDBG grant, we’re done on the FHWA, so only the FEMA and SEMA reimbursement requests, that’s what we have left,” she says.

Last year’s audit claimed the Finance Department did not file reimbursement claims in a timely manner but Haase said during the cleanup, going slow was the best thing to do.

“If we had submitted some of the requests and then did some more work and submitted some more, it’s possible that we might have claimed the same things more than once so I think for us this worked out the best,” she says.

The city billed 400 properties for a possible duplication of benefits. As of now, only 36 are not yet resolved.