MONTPELIER — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given Vermont verbal approval to start demolition of the state office complex in Waterbury that was flooded by Tropical Storm Irene. The work should begin this summer, Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding announced Wednesday.
The state expects to get written approval for the demolition this week.
“We’ve been waiting for this authorization, so we’re ready to rock,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said. Still up in the air is the amount FEMA will reimburse the state for the $124 million project to demolish some of the damaged buildings, renovate others and build new flood-proof structures.
The flooding from Irene on Aug. 28, 2011, forced the state to abandon much of the complex. The only building still in use houses the Department of Public Safety. Thousands of state employees who had worked in Waterbury are now working elsewhere.
Spaulding said the administration expects to learn more details within weeks on reimbursement after rules are drawn up following passage of a federal Superstorm Sandy bill that includes a section that could be applicable to Vermont.
“We think it will provide us the ability to spend our money more efficiently, and will have some influence on maximizing the amount of assistance we’ll get from them so it’s definitely worth waiting,” Spaulding said.
The state has been working on a deal for reimbursement from FEMA for months. The project will be paid for with FEMA funds, state money, and insurance payments.MORE IN Vermont News
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