Rep. Kitchens and Sen. Jacque: Ask governor for $2 million in budget to help defray disaster recovery costs at Washington Island

Governor Tony Evers State Capitol, Room 115 East Madison, WI 53707

Dear Governor Evers,

We recently met with representatives of the Washington Island Electric Cooperative concerning the

natural disaster in June that cut power to the town, resulting in total damages of approximately $4.1 million. We are conveying our strong support and are respectfully asking you to include a budget appropriation of no more than $2 million to help defray a portion of the disaster recovery costs.

The proposal, which requires a 30 percent local cost-share, is also supported by the Door County and Town of Washington boards and has already been presented to Jenni Dye, the policy director in your office.

The state assumes responsibility to help lessen the impacts of local disasters. For example, the state pays 12.5 percent of the cost-share required for FEMA public assistance awards, including the most recent damaging storm events that affected 14 counties last fall.

Because Washington Island is one of the most isolated communities in the state, the impact was not sufficiently broad enough to trigger FEMA Public Assistance, even though damages vastly exceeded the county per capita threshold for the federal program.

We are committed to helping lead a bipartisan, multi-organizational effort to support this proposal that will provide needed economic relief to a small community where damages are nearly half of what was reported by six counties that led to the August 10, 2018 Major Disaster declaration. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need our assistance.

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