DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Small Business Administration issued a disaster declaration for Dallas County and neighboring counties Thursday, and as a result, home and business owners hit hard by the recent tornados may qualify for federal help.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he’s pleased with the declaration because those affected may be eligible for low-interest loans.
“If you wouldn’t qualify for a loan at a traditional bank or even a subprime lender, you can qualify for these SBA loans. This is designed to help you get back on your feet after a disaster,” said Judge Jenkins.
The SBA will open its Disaster Loan Outreach Center Monday, November 18.
It will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Bachman Lake Branch Library at 9480 Webb Chapel Road in Dallas.
At the same time, area leaders remain concerned about damage to public property.
On Thursday, FEMA teams looked closely at what the tornado did to Dallas city streets, sidewalks and curbs.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins escorted officials because he wants to make sure uninsured losses to public property meet the federal government’s threshold of $38.4 million.
So far they haven’t, but if they do, the federal government will reimburse local governments for the damages.
While FEMA has already accounted for the destroyed and damaged Dallas ISD schools and the obliterated Dallas Fire Station 41, it has not considered the damaged streets and another big ticket item: the more than 120 damaged or destroyed Dallas traffic lights.
“The city of Dallas and I believe our traffic signal damage exceeds $20 million. If you add that to the sheet, we’re over the threshold,” said Judge Jenkins.
No word yet when FEMA will make a final determination whether there’s enough damage to public property to qualify for federal reimbursement.