MONTPELIER (AP) -- The state of Vermont could learn this week how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute to the cost of rebuilding and rehabilitating the state office complex in Waterbury, which was largely abandoned after it was inundated by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.
The dispute between FEMA and the state of Vermont over the federal contribution to the Waterbury project could involve tens of millions of dollars.
Vermont Public Radio reports the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin administration would like to stick with the plan to renovate the Waterbury state office complex, but a lack of federal funding could change the decision.
At issue is if FEMA will reimburse the state for the cost of repairing Waterbury buildings that were damaged by the floods or if the federal agency will help the state demolish the structures and assist in the construction of a new state office building.
The three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation met recently with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to support the state’s efforts to get as much federal money as possible.
"What Mr. Fugate did assure us is that every dollar that Vermont is entitled to get it will get," said Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch.
About 1,200 people state employees worked at the Waterbury complex before the water from the Irene-swollen Winooski River poured into the complex. Most of the state offices and the Vermont State Hospital were abandoned after the storm.
The only building still in use is the structure containing the Department of Public Safety, which was not severely damaged.
The Shumlin administration decided to renovate much of the complex, tearing down some of the buildings and constructing a new building in such a way it would be impervious to any future floods.