City to reimburse state for hurricane overpayment

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log

The city of Destin will find its coffers a little bit lighter due to an over-payment by the state of Florida related to Hurricane Gustav.

In 2008 the storm, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 storm, caused significant beach erosion to the city's westernmost beaches. The damage was so severe that there was no beach remaining for protective berms to be built.

As a result of the storm damage, the city was granted permission through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to partner with affected property owners for construction of an emergency beach restoration project.

The work cost a total of $89,988.49, which would be reimbursed to the city through FEMA and the state of Florida. The city was responsible for $11,248.56 of the total costs.

After receiving payments totaling $78,739.93 in 2013, the city received two more payments in January 2014 totaling $18,892.57. Later that year the city was notified by FEMA and the state that Hurricane Gustav was closed out officially.

The final two payments in 2014 had been made in error, City Grants and Projects Manager Lindy Chabot told The Log.

"This was pretty much off the books, as far as what we were monitoring," she said.

The state requested the reimbursement be made within 45 days. Chabot said the city is working to make the reimbursement.