Supervisors declare Waushara County a state of emergency on June 23
The Waushara County Board of Supervisors voted to declare a state of emergency for the county during a special meeting on Friday, June 23.
“The reason for the meeting is to apply for funds through the Wisconsin Disaster Fund we have to declare a state of emergency,” explained Emergency Management Director and Waushara County Sheriff Lt. Mark Piechowski. “(The state) said we have to have a resolution in place to be eligible for any money from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund.”
The WDF is a state reim-bursement program put in place to help local governments recoup costs incurred while responding to, and recovering from, natural disasters, according to the Wisconsin of Military Affairs Division of Emergency Management website. The state program reimburses up to 70 percent of the eligible costs, with the local governments responsible for the other 30 percent.
“By doing this resolution we have a chance of getting the money – if we don’t do it we have no chance,” explained Board Chair Donna Kalata.
Piechowski told the supervisors of substantial damage throughout the county that is “causing the county to expand, commit and exhaust its pertinent and available resources,” according to the declaration presented to the board.
During the meeting, Piechowski gave a detailed presentation about the storm damage sustained, stating state assessors found 70 places which had minor to severe damage – 21 with minor damage, which consisted of holes in a roof or garage destroyed; major damage was sustained on five homes; and four residences were completely destroyed. Four businesses were also affected, three of which were campgrounds suffering severe destruction.
As of Friday, $744,590 is the total public sector damage within the county, but the number will need to be updated and is probably over $750,000, according to Piechowski.
The Wisconsin Emergency Management Department of Military Affairs Uniform Disaster Situation Report being filled out by Piechowski requests funding from WDF and lays out the specific locations most affected by the storm, including the Towns of Saxeville, Springwater, Da-kota, Wautoma, Deerfield, Mt. Morris, Richford, Marion, Village of Wild Rose and City of Wautoma. The Town of Saxeville and Village of Wild Rose already have been declared a disaster, while a declaration is pending for the Town of Springwater.
To conclude his pre-sentation, Piechowski ex-plained to the supervisors the funds the county will be applying for are limited. Since several areas in the state did get hit by the storm and sustained as much or more damage the county may not get the maximum 70 percent requested from the state.
District 3 Supervisor Larry Timm asked Piechowski about building damages to which Piechowski explained those types of damages will be left up to the individual residents as the funds the county will be applying is for public assistance.
“We don’t have enough damage to qualify for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency funds) – that would have to be a presidential declaration and is not going happen based on the numbers right now,” Piechowski said. “The theory from the state is if they had insurance that is who they have to go to. We did not meet that threshold for other funding.”