Storm shelter confusion

OKLAHOMA CITY — Confusion is being cleared up for some involved in storm shelter rebate programs.

In years past,  the state and some municipalities offered storm shelter rebates for those who were selected.   Oklahoma City launched a rebate program in April of 2011.

504 homes were selected to get the rebate before the program was actually funded.

The federal money did not end up coming through because it’s based on what disasters we have in our metro area.  Frank Barnes of Oklahoma City Emergency Management said they followed the rules of application.

“The federal regulations require that we pre-identify the addresses that would receive a rebate and include those addresses on the application that we submit. Unfortunately that process creates unmanageable expectations among the public.”

That left some that were selected disappointed and then confused when the state recently awarded another group of homeowners storm shelter rebates in their program.

Here at Newschannel 4, we received emails from people who were wondering why they were selected by the city, but were not eligible to get the rebates from the state.

The two programs are completely separate.  Barnes told us he doesn’t foresee the city getting any money for the program.  He said that if people want to register for the state program they can.   That program is on-going and is accepting registrations right now.

The state does tell us that so far their rebate isn’t funded for 2013 yet.  That decision will be made by the end of the summer.  It is based on how many disasters our area has.