Remember this? Mayor Rawlings-Blake says that the Baltimore rioters needed room to destroy…
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied a state request for disaster aid to cover the costs associated with the rioting and unrest that broke out in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray.
W. Craig Fugate, FEMA’s administrator, wrote in a June 12 letter to Gov. Larry Hogan that federal disaster aid was “not appropriate” for such an event.
“Therefore, I must inform you that your request for a major disaster declaration is denied,” Fugate wrote.
Spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said Friday that the Hogan administration “is reviewing FEMA’s response and will make a determination about the appropriate next steps, including a possible appeal.”
A disaster declaration would allow public agencies and residents affected by the unrest to seek reimbursement for related costs.
City officials have reserved $20 million to cover direct costs, including overtime for police and firefighters, damage to city-owned property and repaying other jurisdictions for police and other assistance.
Howard Libit, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said Friday that the city is working on an appeal.
“We’re told we have 30 days to appeal,” he said. “We’re working with the federal delegation and Obama administration officials to assess what we might do to become eligible for reimbursement.”
Henry J. Raymond, Baltimore’s finance director, said in May that the city was covering the costs from its rainy-day fund but hoped for federal reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the costs.
In his request for aid, Hogan had cited Baltimore’s preliminary estimate that the rioting and looting in April and the five-night citywide curfew had an economic impact of $30.5 million. That included the loss of conventions, hospitality and leisure spending, and tourism from Orioles games that were closed to the public or moved to Florida.
Read more: The Baltimore Sun