Erie County Department of Public Safety and North East Township have announced they are inviting residents who have suffered property damage due to the Halloween (Oct. 31st) storm to attend a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. at the North East Township Building.
During the meeting, representatives from the Department of Public Safety, North East Township, and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be gathering information from residents to determine if there is enough damage to possibly get a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster declaration.
Although this loan program is offered through the SBA, non-business owners are also eligible. SBA thresholds are 24 or more homes or businesses with 40% or more uninsured losses to the land and improvements.
Residents seeking aid are asked to bring with them information and photographs (before and after shots if possible) to support the estimated damage to land and improvements. Improvements are defined as landscaping, driveways, walkways, barns, sheds, garages, etc. They do not include the home.
Municipal officials, including county and state Emergency Management Officials, will be in attendance to assist residents. In addition, someone from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Zone Management will be present at the meeting to discuss erosion control.
“The North East Township and borough have been meeting with residents who live along the shoreline,” said John Grappy, Director of Erie County Department of Public Safety. “To date, more than 24 homeowners have reported damage to their property. At this time, evaluations are being conducted to identify if they are eligible for aid.”
If the Erie County assessment meets the SBA parameters, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper will ask Governor Tom Wolf to request a declaration from the SBA. The SBA would then send an assessor to the area to confirm what Erie County residents and officials have reported. At that point, the SBA assessor will go back to Atlanta and make a recommendation. A decision is expected to be made within a couple of weeks.
“North East residents who are not seeking a loan are also encouraged to attend Wednesday’s meeting to support their neighbors and those unable to attend,” Dahlkemper said. “I continue to be grateful to our Erie County Department of Public Safety for protecting and assisting our citizens.”
Residents who are unable to attend the meeting are asked to call the Department of Public Safety Administration offices at 814-451-7920.