GENESEE COUNTY — On June 27 Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The request is an attempt by the Governor to get financial assistance from the SBA in the form of low interest loans for Genesee County residents and businesses affected by the flooding that hit the area in early May.
The move follows the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny declaring the flood damaged area a presidential disaster.
“Even though this incident did not rise to the level of a presidential disaster declaration, I am committed to ensuring that all avenues for possible assistance are explored and made available to residents to assist in recovery,” Snyder said. “We’re hopeful that the Small Business Administration will honor our request and make low interest loans available to residents as they work to rebuild.”
The SBA loans are designed to cover uninsured losses.
As a result of the heavy rain that moved into the area in early May, over 500 houses in Swartz Creek had some sort of water damage due to flooding and storm system back up, as well as water that was pushed right back into homes through the sanitary system.
Swartz Creek city manager Paul Bueche said he expects the SBA to approve the request for a disaster declaration, but sees little value in the resulting loans that would be made available to the affected Swartz Creek residents.
“People will do other things than take on more debt,” he said. “People will find other ways around it.”
Moreover, Bueche said that people who suffered losses to personal property will probably just live without the property.
However, he did acknowledge that people who sustained structural damage to their houses may have no choice but to take advantage of the loans.