People Ask Commissioners To Explain FEMA Grant Termination - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

People Ask Commissioners To Explain FEMA Grant Termination

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KALISPELL -

Thursday morning several people asked the Flathead county commissioners to explain their decision to back out of a federal grant that would help stabilize a bluff off Whitefish Stage Road.

The sloughing out near Village Greens has been going on for years and homeowners have poured more than $100,000 of their own money into dealing with the erosion, but it's still a problem.

"I really have concern and understanding of the poor folks up above. If their house ends up in my pond, they're in a world of hurt," said Herb White, a homeowner near the bluff.

"What we hope to do is keep it out of the courts and be able to have an open discussion about the issue," said Scott Gearhart, one of the plaintiffs listed on the district court case against the commissioners.

At the commissioner's meeting it was standing room only while one person after another got up to ask the commissioners why they decided to renege on a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that would have been hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Commissioners are keeping tight lipped.

"We have heard through rumor, and or off the record comment that they were concerned with liability and we've addressed that to them as individuals saying that we're willing to sign a hold harmless agreement that would mitigate their liability," explained Gearhart.

A hold harmless agreement means a person or group will not be held responsible for something.

Despite that olive branch, Judge Ted Lympus has already given a temporary restraining order to stop the commissioners from stopping the grant.

That was after Gearhart, who lives basically above the bluff, helped file an official complaint.

On Wednesday, the commissioners will explain their decision in a district court hearing.

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