Additional $22.1 Million for Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Work Obligated

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have obligated more than $22.1 million in additional funds for 33 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria struck in 2017. These funds were obligated between Jan. 24 and Jan. 30.

To date, nearly $6.2 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program. Funding for permanent work includes projects like roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and park and recreation facilities as authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.

In a press release, FEMA listed the latest grants obligated as follows:

  • Over $14.4 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
  • Over $6 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
  • Over $817,000 for debris removal.
  • Nearly $403,000 for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
  • Nearly $312,000 for emergency protective measures.
  • Over $74,000 for municipal governments for administrative costs.
  • Over $62,000 for repairs to public utilities.

The obligation for repairs to parks and recreational facilities includes nearly $14.3 million for repair and restoration work to the historic Cuartel de Ballajá, in Old San Juan.

An aerial view of Old San Juan’s Cuartel de Ballajá (Screen capture of www.museolasamericas.org)

Built between 1854 and 1864 by the Spanish monarchy to house members of the military, the Ballajá building includes the Museo de las Américas, which has exhibitions about the American continent with an emphasis on Puerto Rican culture, and houses several educational and cultural organizations. The site is also home to the Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office.

The work to be completed includes electrical repairs, removal and replacement of wood windows, stain-glass windows and wood doors, as well as interior and exterior repairs.

The grant also provides funding for architecture and engineering design costs related to the design and drawings of the windows and shutters.

“Many projects during this phase of the recovery are for architectural and engineering design, which may open the door to funding opportunities for larger projects in the future,” the agency’s release reads. “These funds help to reduce the ‘damage-rebuild-damage’ cycle that comes with restoring structures to pre-disaster conditions. They assure quality by meticulously detailing scopes of work to ensure a repaired and rebuilt Puerto Rico is better positioned to withstand another storm.”

Emergency protective measures are actions taken to eliminate or lessen immediate threats either to lives, public health or safety, or significant additional damage to public or private property in a cost-effective manner.