The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

January 30, 2014

Danville Middle School flood reimbursements still being processed

— DANVILLE — Reimbursements for repairs to the Danville Middle School are still being processed by state and federal agencies five months after the school has reopened.

Both the federal and Pennsylvania emergency management agencies were helping to fund repairs to the school following flood damage to the building during 2011’s Tropical Storm Lee. The middle school opened for the first time since the flood at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

Such a delay in reimbursement money is normal, according to Janis Venna, business manager of Danville’s school district. All the construction is done and the contractors paid, “it’s just the paperwork process that is lagging a little bit,” she said.

A project manager must first review a payment application sent in by a contractor before it then goes to an architect, Venna said. “All these people need to sign off on it and that takes time.”

At the school board’s Jan. 14 meeting, the board approved approximately $421,029 in FEMA reimbursement money for repairs and contract work performed at the middle school while it was being renovated.

Venna hopes that within the next two months all the necessary paperwork for reimbursements will be sent in, with the rest of the reimbursements coming after FEMA and PEMA finish their audits.

This is all normal procedure for the two agencies, Venna said. Overall, they “have been remarkably quick for turnaround time with money. They’ve really helped the district out in making sure we’re reimbursed quickly. Now we’re down to the end of it and we need to close it out and audit it,” she said.

FEMA and PEMA helped fund $10 million of the $11.5 million restoration of the Danville Middle School. While the school was being repaired, its approximately 550 students were taught in extra classrooms located at other buildings throughout the district.

Email comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.

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