Gov. announces disaster relief for tornado-stricken communities

Jul 7, 2014

$11.6 million of state relief is being made available to help the communities hit by the November 2013 tornadoes.

Governor Pat Quinn announced the city of Washington is getting about $7.7 million of the pot. The community already received $6.5 million of the funding for city streets, sidewalks, and curbs and gutters.

The money is part of an overall $45 million package to help local governments recoup some of the costs associated with storm cleanup. That’s after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied assistance.

Washington Mayor Gary Manier says the city will likely apply for more state help for potential water issues. 

“We don’t know how much damage we’re going to have until we turn some of our systems back on to see if we’re going to have to tap into that. There’s a lot of unanswered questions. It’s not a six to eight month process. It’s a year to two year process.”

More than 11-hundred homes were impacted in Washington by the November tornadoes. More than 700 permits have been issued for reconstruction.

The governor announced more than $115,000 is also going to Pekin, and East Peoria is receiving about $268,000. The village of Gifford is getting more than $379,000, Brookport will receive $1.8 million, Massac County is to get more than $31,ooo, about $442,000 is going to Diamond, Coal City is getting more than $268,000 and Compromise Township in Champaign County is receiving $185,000.

The governor also signed three measures into law related to disaster recovery. The first goes into effect immediately and creates the Illinois Gives program that allows current and retired state employees to donate a portion of their paycheck to the American Red Cross for disaster relief. 

The second piece of legislation sets a limit  of 10% on the amount of compensation an insurance adjuster may receive when representing a consumer in a claim resulting from a disaster. This goes into effect in January. 

The last legislation signed into law protects small businesses that rebuild after being impacted by a disaster. It slowly phases in property taxes over a 15-year period to prevent an immediate tax hike on the repaired or rebuilt business property. The law is effective immediately.