DETCOG Still Addressing Disaster Recovery - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/28/07 - East Texas

DETCOG Still Addressing Disaster Recovery

by Donna McCollum

The Deep East Texas Council of Government begins a new fiscal year, but the biggest issue facing county judges and city mayors is now two years old. Hurricane and disaster recovery is still the top priority and remained under discussion at DETCOG's board meeting in Nacogdoches on Thursday.

Executive director Walter Diggles said,  " The initial $74-million that was allocated in the first supplemental. Those funds are barely making it to those residents. "

It's tough on county judges who must face those still living in fema trailers. There are one hundred in Newton County. Judge Truman Dougharty said,  " It's hard to talk and answer people why you can't get them in a house in nearly 2 years expired, so I'm always arguing there has to be a faster, better way. "

Government agencies remember the problems in Louisiana and Mississippi. They don't want it to happen in East Texas. Diggles explained,  " They're going through every measure possible to ensure that there is no fraud and no abuse and they're being very deliberate and careful about it. "

On a positive note, DETCOG has received approval from the state level on the region's ability to develop a regional disaster plan. The desire is that it will never have to be tested to the level it was two years ago.  

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