A Year After Hurricane Matthew, Counties Ask Rick Scott: Where’s Our Money?

“If you’re not a wealthy insider, Rick Scott just doesn’t care about you. It’s clear that helping North Florida counties recover from catastrophic storms isn’t a priority for Rick Scott — he’s busy helping the wealthy and big corporations get special treatment. After all, he doesn’t have to deal with flooded roads or busted local budgets. He can fly over all that in his private jet,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.
By Steve Bousquet, October 12, 2017
  • “After Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida, an impatient Gov. Rick Scott insisted that all counties remove debris, reopen roads.”
  • “As the costs of Irma’s Category 4 fury are still being calculated, several North Florida counties hammered by Hurricane Matthew — one year ago — are still waiting to be repaid for the cost of debris removal, road repair and police overtime from that storm.”
  • “Strangled in red tape, counties fault the state for persistent delays, noting that FEMA has authorized millions in reimbursement that Scott’s Division of Emergency Management has still not yet released.”
  • “Putnam, a county of 72,000 just east of Gainesville, has an annual budget of $119 million and says it is owed $1.3 million from Matthew.”
  • “It will get worse. The county now projects unplanned costs of $1.4 million more for Hurricane Irma recovery, and $300,000 from another storm, a nor’easter that blew through the county two weeks later.”
  • “Levy County is waiting for about $345,000 in reimbursements from Hurricane Hermine in August 2016, and its neighbor, Dixie County, is waiting for about $500,000 from Hurricane Hermine.”
  • “Dixie County emergency chief Scott Garner said he’s optimistic the money will arrive soon. Asked what’s taking so long, Garner said: ‘I don’t know.'”
  • “Flagler County, on the east coast north of Daytona Beach, is still waiting for $4.5 million in reimbursements.”
  • “‘It’s been a year,’ Coffey said, ‘and we’re yet to see a penny.'”