Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that the State of Missouri will pay the full 10 percent of the state/local share of the costs of the federal Expedited Debris Removal Program. Through this program, local contractors are working with federal agencies and the Missouri National Guard to remove debris and clear parcels in parts of the Joplin area that received catastrophic or extensive damage from the May 22 tornado.
Covering the full cost of the state/local share is an extraordinary step for the state, but Gov. Nixon said it is necessary in this case because of a reduction in the local tax base as a result of the storm and to expedite the recovery and rebuilding process.
"We've made tremendous progress in removing debris in the wake of this devastating storm, but there is still more work to do," Gov. Nixon said. "Because of the massive scope of this effort and significant disruption of the local tax base, the State of Missouri will provide the resources necessary to cover the full state/local share for the Expedited Debris Removal Program. We will continue to work together to make sure the people of Joplin can recover and rebuild as quickly as possible."
More than 1.13 million cubic yards of debris have been removed already under the Expedited Debris Removal Program. That equals approximately 91 percent of the estimated 1.25 million cubic yards within the area designated for expedited removal. Nearly 2,300 parcels within the expedited removal area, or approximately 67 percent, have been cleared.
Four businesses from southwest Missouri have been awarded major contracts for debris removal in Joplin. This emphasis on local contractors ensures that residents of the Joplin area are employed through the process. More than 400 temporary workers also have been hired through the Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, which is coordinated by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA are the lead federal agencies on this program. Gov. Nixon has designated the Missouri National Guard to serve as the state's point agency on debris removal
Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen from the National Guard have worked more than 25,000 hours to provide logistical support and coordination for the expedited debris removal project. Volunteers, including individuals and faith and civic groups, have worked more than 249,000 hours on debris removal projects.
Under the Expedited Debris Removal Program, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost of debris removal from the areas that received catastrophic or extensive damage, through Aug. 7. The Governor has requested that FEMA extend the program.
Because of the extensive property damage caused by the tornado, Gov. Nixon also today ordered the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Missouri State Tax Commission to work with county and local officials to review the impact of the destruction on the property tax, personal property tax and sales tax revenues of local jurisdictions, including counties, municipalities, school districts, fire protection districts, water districts and others. This study will analyze the potential impact on services provided by these jurisdictions, including schools, roads and law enforcement.
"These jurisdictions provide their citizens with essential services such as schools, roads, water, and fire and law enforcement protection," Gov. Nixon said. "With thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses destroyed on May 22, it's important to know the scope and impact of lost revenue on providing those vital services. As we prepare to consider the most effective way to finance disaster recovery and rebuilding in the upcoming special session, this review will provide a clear view of the financial challenges local jurisdictions are facing."