FEMA Suspends State’s Hazard Mitigation Funds; Cites Lack of Compliance of Kokomo Stadium

Last Updated on February 26, 2015 by cassnetwork

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has suspended all hazard mitigation grant awards to the State of Indiana due to unresolved compliance issues with Kokomo’s baseball stadium project.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) currently has about $5.5 million in mitigation grant funds that will be affected by FEMA’s decision. As long as FEMA’s decision stands, and Kokomo’s stadium compliance issues linger, Indiana will not be eligible for future hazard mitigation funding, which could result in millions of additional lost grant funding to Indiana cities and counties. IDHS is currently managing $50 million in hazard mitigation funded projects. Because these funds are already committed, they are not affected by the suspension.

The suspension may also extend to future disaster funds and the National Flood Insurance Program as related to the Kokomo project. The rest of the state is still eligible for future disaster grants and the National Flood Insurance Program.

FEMA determined in late 2014 that the Kokomo baseball stadium was not in compliance. As the grantee, IDHS has been working with the City of Kokomo to resolve compliance issues.

Up to eight parcels that are currently part of the baseball stadium project must be returned to open space, in accordance with FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program regulations. The City of Kokomo applied for and was granted FEMA funds from the grant program to purchase the properties.

IDHS previously issued a letter on November 24, 2014, noting the violations and providing a timeline of 60 days for the city to resolve the issues. FEMA’s February 25, 2015 letter noted that the violations still exist.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Homeland Security