TREMONT, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY – (WBRE/WYOU) Although most of us are dealing with cold and snow, for many communities in our area it’s still a matter of cleaning up from this summer’s floods.
That’s the story in Schuylkill County where Pine Grove and Tremont were especially hard hit.
Today Governor Tom Wolf was in Tremont to talk about flood protection.
Last August flood water filled the streets of Tremont and other communities in Schuylkill County, forcing many families out of their homes. Governor Tom Wolf visited several of them to look at the damage, but says that wasn’t enough.
“We ought to be able to say more than just, ‘I am sorry for your loss. There is nothing I can do to help you recover from the devastation of losing your home.'”
On this trip back, Wolf is letting people know that he believes his plan for rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, called “Restore Pennsylvania,” will allow them to say more if another natural disaster occurs.
His plan is to implement a natural gas severance tax to invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in projects throughout the commonwealth.
Wolf says it will go towards things like a disaster relief trust fund to help people who suffer losses that FEMA will not fund.
Not only a solution. But also prevention. Something that he stressed is just as important.
Tremont is on it’s way but hasn’t made a full recovery since the floods. The mayor believes this project will help them and appreciates the governor’s efforts.
“He’s been continuously in touch with us so I think’ restoring p-a’ is going to be a lot of our answers and looking for funding that we should be able to see some success,” Mayor Ricky A. Ney Jr. of Tremont said.
Another portion will go towards flood prevention to protect against severe weather and save homes and businesses in flood prone areas across the state.
The challenge for the governor is getting the legislature to approve his severance tax proposal – something they’ve refused to do in each of the last two legislative sessions.
Other state officials were by his side to show support. This was not the only stop they made.