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Vt. lawmakers updated on disaster funding - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. lawmakers updated on disaster funding

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The state still does not know how much Vermont can expect from FEMA, but the state is moving ahead with the reconstruction of the Waterbury office complex. Most of it was abandoned after Tropical Storm Irene's floodwaters swept through.

The state wants to rehab some buildings, tear down others and build new, modern office space on the site. Details of the plan were presented to the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee Thursday. One of the goals is to return hundreds of displaced state employees to Waterbury, including the entire Human Services Agency.

"By approving this design you are going to make whole an agency in state government, one of the more important agencies in state government because it looks out for the have-nots. You are going to make them very happy and unite them in a way that will bring some efficiencies in the future," said Michael Obuchowski, the Vt. Buildings commissioner.

The committee signed off on the plan Thursday. It will go to the full Legislature in January.

Questions remain about how much of the cost will be covered by the federal government. The governor initially expected 90 percent, and then FEMA indicated it would be much less. The state now says there are signs that figure is rising.

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