3 Mid-Missouri counties not on aid list

Three Mid-Missouri counties were skipped in this week’s announcement of flood- and storm-related financial assistance.

And, unless the federal government changes its mind, they likely won’t be getting any federal assistance, Gov. Jay Nixon’s spokeswoman said Thursday.

Earlier this week, Nixon’s office announced the Small Business Administration had approved aid for people in 12 Missouri counties whose homes and businesses were damaged by floods and strong storms between Aug. 2-14.

The announcement qualifies those people for federal low-interest loans, and included Miller, Maries and Camden counties.

But Nixon’s Aug. 27 request for federal assistance also named Osage, Gasconade and Morgan counties in Mid-Missouri — and they were not included in Tuesday’s announcement.

“The way the SBA disaster declaration process works is different from FEMA’s process,” Nixon spokeswoman Channing Ansley explained in an e-mail.

“SBA will declare for ‘primary counties’ (in this case Taney and Pulaski) that it views as meeting its criteria, and then makes the same assistance available to the contiguous (or bordering) counties.”

Osage, Gasconade and Morgan counties don’t border either Pulaski or Taney counties, so they didn’t get the benefit of the SBA designation, she said.

With SBA and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) being “the only federal disaster assistance programs available at this time,” Ansley said, the other counties Nixon included in his Aug. 27 request have no other options for federal assistance.

Also excluded from assistance in Tuesday’s SBA designation were Barry, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Dent, McDonald, Polk, Shannon, Webster and Wright counties.

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