He said if the county channels the FEMA funds into other projects, then FEMA or the county should help pay for a new rescue boat and training for the volunteer firefighters who would be called on to rescue people from flood waters.
Gloria Zola-Mulloy, the owner of two buildings on Main Street in Fleischmanns, said commerce and tourism in the village will suffer if the bridge is not replaced.
“Getting our bridge back is a critical issue,” she said. “It’s a hardship when people can’t get to Main Street quickly.”
She also said county officials have failed to listen to the voices of community residents convinced the FEMA funds were intended to go to rebuild the Bridge Street Bridge. “We feel we’ve had our pocket picked,” she said.
Pascarella said the county risks being penalized by FEMA for using the award for projects other than the bridge over the Bushkill.
“Having a bird in hand is better than scaring two out of the bush and ending up with nothing,” he said.