Williamsburg County Council passed an amended ordinance that will place the county's budget in the black financially. The ordinance includes an anticipated reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of $445,771, approximately half of the budget deficit. But getting it may be a long time coming.
Emergency Management Division spokesperson Derrec Becker could not predict when counties would receive the funds as it depends on various factors such as when a department applied.
FEMA has declared and approved assistance for costs to 11 of 26 counties including Williamsburg. The FEMA Public Assistance program is a reimbursement grant program. Typically, the federal share is 75 percent and the state or local governments pay the remaining 25 percent whereas eligible private non-profit groups are responsible for the full 25 percent. Federal disaster aid is not available for individual residents.
Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Marion, and Williamsburg counties were previously approved for the FEMA Public Assistance program following Hurricane Dorian. That hurricane cost the state approximately $41 million but that number could change as FEMA works on reimbursements from previous disasters and continues to complete damage assessments from Dorian.