Kingsburg resort owner wants federal grant for flood damage not a loan

Damage estimate totals $300,000

Businesses on the Kings River are still recovering from flooding last month. So far they haven't qualified for federal help. If help does arrive the owner of a Kingsburg river resort wants a federal grant not a loan.

Damage to his office, game room and gym is estimated at $300,000. Alan Degenhardt says this is the fourth time in 13 years that he's been hurt by flooding. "I would like to see the state or the feds step up to the plate and create grants to pay for the damages that were caused."

So far there is no relief but the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services hasn't given up. O-E-S needs five businesses to get the process started on seeking Small Business Administration disaster loans. So far only four have filled out the one page report. It can't move forward without a fifth business claiming flood damage.

Degenhardt blames the Army Corps of Engineers for not releasing snow melt soon enough from Pine Flat Dam. "The damage to our property as well as the damage to the other businesses and their properties are a result of a governmental agency's negligence. And I don't believe a loan is appropriate and I do believe a grant is in order."

Degenhardt remains optimistic about a grant but if the only help is an SBA loan he's not interested. He says going into further debt is not the answer. Businesses impacted by flooding can seek relief from the Office of Emergency Services in their respective county.

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