Sheriff: 8.6M awarded to Carter Co. by FEMA to rebuild after flooding

Sheriff: 8.6M awarded to Carter Co. by FEMA to rebuild after flooding
A Heartland county now has the government funding from FEMA it needs to replace government buildings it lost during historic flooding in 2017. (Source: KFVS)

VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS) - A Heartland county now has the government funding from FEMA it needs to replace government buildings it lost during historic flooding in 2017.

Sheriff Richard Stephens reports that Carter County, Missouri commissioners accepted an $8.6 million award to rebuild several buildings after 2017 flooding.

Two locations have been picked out for the all-in-one government building which has to be located outside of the floodplain.

Leaders in Carter County say the amount of funding from FEMA is remarkable and will give their staff a permanent home after months of using temporary solutions.

“It’s difficult not to have one, because right now we have prisoners or inmates in a wide array of different facilities. We have to transport them, bring them and move them and that makes it difficult which having one facility would be a lot nicer," said Sheriff Richard Stephens.

“It’s going to set the stage for the next 50 years, 100 years. Something like this here we are not going to ask for a bond issue," Presiding County Commission Donald Black said. "We are not going to ask for any raise in taxes. This facility will be done and it will be debt free for Carter County. That is amazing.”

Two plots have been picked outside the floodplain for the all-in-one government building.

Sheriff Rick Stephens says will house the jail, sheriff’s office and county courthouse.

“So if we have somebody in custody we can insure their safety. We insure the public’s safety because they are never leaving a secure facility. So that is extremely exciting for us.”

At their temporary office Stephens and his staff do not have running water or a jail to keep criminals

“It’s difficult not to have one, because right now we have prisoners or inmates in a wide array of different facilities. We have to transport them, bring them and move them and that makes it difficult which having one facility would be a lot nicer.”

Black says the county has two and a half years to use the FEMA money and says planning is already underway.

“The whole load has come off our shoulders. Now we are ready to get moving forward for the future.”

Now this federal funding can not be put toward restoring the historic Carter County Courthouse here because it’s inside the flood zone. But this community is not done finding other for funding sources for this seperate project.

The money from FEMA cannot be used to restore the Carter County courthouse.

But, the community is still searching for other funding sources to revive the historic building.

I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to several people who have went over and above for the citizens of Carter...

Posted by Richard Stephens, Carter County Sheriff on Thursday, December 27, 2018

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