State assistance for tornado victims

Harrisburg, Illinois a day after the tornado
Harrisburg, Illinois a day after the tornado

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - State officials met in Harrisburg Monday to talk about Governor Pat Quinn's tornado assistance package.

A $13 million relief package of a combined effort of several state agencies will provide help to families that lost homes or were heavily damaged, business owners who lost their businesses, and city governments.

The help includes reimbursements to local governments for some of their disaster-related expenses and road improvements. The aid also involves grants for home repairs and low-interest loans to storm-affected businesses.

Seven people were killed by the twister that tore through Harrisburg on Feb. 29.

Since then, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state's request for help from U.S. taxpayers in the recovery effort.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Finance Authority, IEMA, IDOT, and Illinois Housing Development Authority are agencies coming together to help with the relief efforts in Harrisburg and Ridgway.

The mayor of Ridgway says the money is desperately needed for her community.

The interim mayor of Harrisburg says the money will help the city with some of the costs it incurred during the tornado response.

According to Gov. Quinn's office, the state's multi-agency relief package includes:

  • Assistance from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) – Up to $5 million from the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) will pay for public infrastructure improvements, housing rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. In partnership with Ameren Illinois, another $1 million from the Energy Efficiency Trust will fund energy efficiency incentives through Ameren's Act on Energy program to benefit customers affected by the disaster. Additionally, DCEO will make as much as $750,000 in Workforce Investment Act grants available to cover wages for dislocated workers to participate in disaster cleanup and structured work-based learning.
  • Assistance from Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) - Up to $2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) business loans will be available through IFA under a relending in Gallatin, Saline and Williamson counties. Loans from a minimum of $50,000 up to a maximum of $250,000 may be used for the purchase of land, construction or renovation of an industrial or commercial building or purchase of machinery and equipment. The IFA will partner with local banks to market the program to local businesses hurt by the recent storms and tornadoes.
  • Assistance from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) – Twenty-one municipal road improvements in Harrisburg will be completed at an estimated cost of $1.58 million.
  • Assistance from Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) – Reimbursements up to $1.5 million to affected local governments for some of their disaster-related expenses will be made through the state's Disaster Response and Recovery Fund, which supports emergency response and recovery efforts.
  • Assistance from Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) – IHDA will commit up to $1 million in federal HOME Funds using the Single Family Owner Occupied Rehabilitation (SFOOR) Program. Up to $40,000 per household in forgivable non-payment loans will be made available to homeowners in affected areas. The funds can be used to build or renovate destroyed or damaged homes.
  • Delta Regional Authority – Governor Quinn secured $400,000 in federal funding to reimburse local governments for expenses related to debris removal.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.