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Bill Aims to Offer State Relief for Towns Waiting on Federal Disaster Aid

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Some New Hampshire towns hit hard by storms this year are still waiting for federal disaster relief funds. That's led to a proposal to offer short-term aid from state coffers to fill the gap. 

Orford, for example, suffered bridge damage and road washouts after storms in July and October. The Grafton County town is expecting to be reimbursed in part by FEMA funds, but there's a delay before that money comes through.

“The town has been paying out for paving and dirt and all the work,” said Michael Gilbert, Orford's emergency management director. “We're paying that out of the town's budget right now.” He said that leaves Orford with big debts in the short-term.

A new legislative proposal sponsored by Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, would allow the state to offer temporary loans to cities and towns after natural disasters, patching the period of time before federal aid comes through. The bill will be considered when the 2018 legislative session opens in January.  

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