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FEMA lets Atascadero keep millions

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After months of review and several extensions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Dec. 13 that it would stand by a previous decision to give Atascadero $12.3 million for repairs to city property in the wake of the 2003 San Simeon earthquake.

In April, the Office of the Inspector General released a report that criticized the city’s use of roughly $8 million for various architectural and engineering services, relocating city hall, and replacing the Printery Building.

FEMA evaluated the report and concluded that all of the expenses were justified, except for $1,312 in costs charged to the replacement of the Printery Building. That money will instead be charged to the Historic City Hall Rehabilitation Fund.

“This is wonderful news,” Mayor Tom O’Malley said in a press release. “We worked hard to keep our community informed during the entire audit process and are pleased to hear that FEMA has reaffirmed what we always believed to be true.”

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