26 Sep Irma and Harvey delay millions of dollars in storm relief funds to South Carolina counties
You may or may not have seen the news stories in the Packet/Gazette about Bluffton and other local governments not receiving funding for Matthew recovery. Of the over $500,000 the city spent on cleanup, staffing first responders and public works staff who were constantly on call and stationed away from their homes and sites which were accessible, I believe we have only seen about $60,000. One of the problems, it appears from staff who worked tirelessly on assembling the data and filling out forms, is that more information and documentation was required than was disclosed. Accordingly, as we prepared for Irma, about 10% more of our time was documenting the before, during and after with photos. In other words we need to submit an image of a tree before it fell, once on the ground, being cut into management pieces and being hauled off. Furthermore we had to develop separate time sheets for employee time to be traced so that it met the specs of FEMA.
I know that government, and businesses as well, can sometimes become sloppy with book keeping and we need a good accounting of what we spend and are being reimbursed. But when staff has to spend almost as much time documenting and reporting as taking care of problems that need to be addressed, something is wrong.