NC lawmaker calls for renewed hurricane recovery oversight after WBTV reporting
RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - A member of the North Carolina General Assembly is calling for renewed legislative oversight of the state's efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew.
State Representative Brendan Jones (R-Columbus) wrote a letter to House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) requesting the pair re-convene the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief, which was convened earlier this year and dissolved before the start of the short session.
Jones' district includes the Town of Fair Bluff, a small town hit hard by Hurricane Matthew whose main thoroughfare is lined with boarded-up storefronts and flooded outbuildings.
In his letter, Jones cited information uncovered by WBTV on Monday that the state missed another self-imposed deadline in its hurricane recovery efforts. Jones also referenced an April story from WBTV that found the state had yet to spend any of a more than $200 million federal grant meant to rebuild homes damaged by the storm.
"In light of this information and on behalf of my constituents and those still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Matthew, I would like to respectfully request that the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief reconvene so that we may review and discuss the appropriate measures moving forward," Jones wrote in his letter.
"North Carolina stands to lose millions of federal dollars because of the Governor's tepid response," Jones said. "We must continue to do everything in our power to hold this administration accountable."
On Monday, a spokesman for the North Carolina Emergency Management office said the state had received the final approval necessary to begin spending a new post of federal grant money in one of the 22 counties impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Three more counties are expected to complete required paperwork in August, the spokesman said. Work is just now underway in the remaining 18 counties to complete the required paperwork.
It is not yet clear if or when the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief will reconvene.
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