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N.C. Cities, Towns May Have To Give Back Hurricane-Repair Money

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WILSON, N.C. — Governor Easley has the attention of local cities and counties like never before. On Wednesday, 12 local governments were told in a letter to spend hurricane-repair money more quickly, or give it back.

The repair money from state taxpayers is going to local governments who pay contractors to do the work on low-income homes.

"If the local governments can't do it, then we will take the money back and the state will have to do it," Easley said. "I don't want to do that because I want to put in place the process that will work in any future disasters as well, but I'm going to make sure these people get the money coming to them and they get back in their homes."

Communities like Wilson claim the numbers are all wrong. First, their numbers show that they have completed three times the number of homes the state listed. Plus, state approval and grant money for the low-income houses arrived last summer.

"I don't view six months as an exorbitant amount of time or wasted time that we have used to get this program under way," said Leigh Ann Braswell of the Wilson Community Development Committee.

Otisteen Brunson was one of the first nine homeowners in Wilson to get the repairs.

"The timing was reasonable. They were fixed in approximately 90 days, 30 to 90 days. They were good about the timing," she said.

Homes that were filled with water and destroyed in the flood are not part of the program. They are part of the buyout. Most of the homes in Wilson, at least that are a part of the program, were not flooded at all.

"Our priorities in Wilson have been to try to deal with the families that were flooded out of their homes, who lost their homes and lost their possessions. That's who we have been concentrating our efforts on," Braswell said.

Related link:

  • Complete List Of Communities Receiving Floyd Repairs And Renovation Grants


    Brian Bowman, Reporter
    Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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