Administration urges $16 million in extra flood relief



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)—Flooding last summer caused $1.5 billion damage in Illinois, and the state will pick up the tab for about $16.5 million, the governor’s office said Monday.

Al Grosboll, Gov. Jim Edgar’s point man on flood recovery, told the House Appropriations committee how much money will be needed for a supplemental appropriation to cover damages.

The General Assembly will be asked to pass a $203.9 million package, but the federal government will reimburse the state for about $187 million, Grosboll said.

‘‘In terms of state dollars, the actual amount would be $16.5 million,’‘ he said.

The money will cover three areas: individual and family assistance, public assistance and disaster relief funds.

About 8,500 families and individuals will receive $40 million in aid, with $10 million coming from state coffers.

Grosboll said $139 million will repair drainage and sewage systems, street and bridge repair and other flood-damaged infrastructure. He said the state will pay $4 million of that amount.

The additional appropriation will help cover the cost of the National Guard, public health officials who provided clean water, and the construction of mobile home parks to house displaced residents.

Grosboll said the administration may have to come back for more money in the spring depending on what the winter weather and spring thaw bring. Because all levies aren’t fixed yet, more flooding could cause serious problems.

During the flood, he said, 39 levies held and 24 broke.

Part of the money the state is seeking in additional appropriations also would help the Transportation Department.

Transportation Secretary Kirk Brown told the committee his agency needs $10.9 million extra cash to cover costs of moving millions of sandbags, building temporary roads and helping communities eliminate tons of flooding debris.

‘‘The department’s emergency response measures have badly depleted our operating budget,’‘ he said. ‘‘If not restored, our ability to continue flood relief effort and to respond to the upcoming winter is in serious jeopardy.’‘