Board OKs Quake Repair Settlement
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday accepted a $53-million settlement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs to county facilities damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, ending a multiyear dispute.
By accepting FEMA’s offer, the supervisors decided not to go to court to seek the more than $700 million officials had believed the county was entitled to under a strict reading of federal law.
“If we wanted to fight for a lifetime” the county may have gotten more, said Sharon Yonashiro of the county’s Chief Administrative Office. “We’re at the point where we’ve decided it’s important to get these buildings fixed.”
The county has already received $40 million from FEMA for earthquake repairs. About $600 million more is now on the way from a number of claims filed after the Northridge temblor.
The settlement approved Tuesday covers repairs on dozens of county buildings, including the Hall of Administration and Los Angeles Superior Courthouse on Hill Street. Yonashiro, who said FEMA has been “very helpful” recently, said the money would be sufficient to ensure the buildings are safe. The additional funds the county had sought, she said, would have paid for other types of work.