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July 2006

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TO:   Institutions affected by the June floods

IMPORTANT 

NY State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) is scheduling a series of FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings in the 19 counties impacted by the June 2006 floods.  Meetings will be held from July 17 through July 28.  Please be sure to attend if your institution was impacted or damaged by the floods or their aftermath.  

The Public Assistance Program provides assistance to “State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities” in the 19-county area.  Note that “Private nonprofit organizations” includes libraries and museums (see text below).

You can view the meeting schedule, and review the applicable FEMA materials, including the Disaster Fact Sheet and the PDF copy of the Public Assistance Handbook (78 pages) on the Internet at:

www.semo.state.ny.us/programs/recovery/ 

If you can’t access the meeting schedule, please contact us and we will fax or e-mail the material to you, or provide the information over the phone.

Note the following which appears in the Public Assistance Program Handbook:

Page 3:  "Eligible applicants include State agencies, municipalities, Native American Tribal Organizations, and certain private non-profit organizations that provide essential services of a governmental nature to the general public." 

Page 29:  "Title 44 CFR, part 206.221(e) defines an eligible public non-profit facility as: '. . . any private non-profit educational, utility, emergency, medical or custodial care facility, including a facility for the aged or disabled, and other facility providing essential governmental type services to the general public, and such facilities on Indian reservations.'  'Other essential governmental service facility' means museums, zoos, community centers, libraries, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops and facilities which provide health and safety services of a governmental nature.  All such facilities must be open to the general public."

and, 

"Private Non-Profit Organizations must attach copies of their Tax Exemption Certificate and Organization Charter or By-Laws.  If your organization is a school or educational facility, please attach information on accreditation or certification."

Note the requirement for IRS 501-c-3 tax exempt status.  Some institutions may not have such status.  If so, I suggest they apply now although I don't know if the status must have been current on the date of the disaster or only in hand by the date of receipt of funds.

Note also, an organization is asked to provide either a copy of their charter or a copy of their by-laws.  If you have lost or misplaced your copy of your Board of Regents charter, it would assist our office and the State Education Department greatly if you provide a copy of your by-laws instead of asking us for a copy of your charter.  

You should continue to direct your specific questions to your County's emergency preparedness office, or to the contact name provided for your county in the meeting schedule.  

One last item:  Our office has been directed to gather information on flood damage to chartered institutions in the 19 counties designed by FEMA as flood-affected.  We are doing this by phone.  If you have not heard from us and responded, but have flood-related damage or losses, or know of some other institution that has, please contact us.

Best wishes,




David W. Palmquist
Head, Museum Chartering
NY State Museum
NY State Education Department
3097 Cultural Education Center
Albany NY 12230
518-473-3131
FAX 518-473-8496
e-mail:  [log in to unmask]
web site:  www.nysm.nysed.gov/charter/

Deadline for the September Regents meeting agenda was June 27; 
Deadline for October meeting is August 22;
Deadline for December meeting is October 3.

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