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FEMA: Recovery Efforts Continue with Funding for 131 Additional Projects

By on May 12, 2020

Over $47 million in obligations

SAN JUAN – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, announced Tuesday the obligation of more than $47 million for 131 hurricane-recovery projects during the first week of May.

FEMA works with COR3 through the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the Government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and María.

Funding for permanent work includes projects like roads, bridges, water control, buildings and equipment, utilities and park and recreation facilities as authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.

The Humacao Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, 26 parks and community centers from the Department of Sports and Recreation, as well as various roads and municipal parks are among the obligations for more than $1 million each.

To date, nearly $6.7 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

“Recent obligations for these purposes include $11.3 million for the Puerto Rico Department of Sports and Recreation, for projects such as the Río Grande Estates Sports Complex. Over $1.3 million will go towards repairing the baseball field, basketball court, community center, children’s playground, tennis court and outdoor lighting. Similarly, the Osvaldo Gutiérrez baseball park in Guánica will benefit from a $354,000 obligation which includes over $70,000 to mitigate against future damage by strengthening fences and other measures,” FEMA’s news release reads.

“Once again, I thank FEMA and COR3 for their commitment to our department,” Sports and Recreation Secretary Adriana Sánchez Parés is quoted as saying in the release. “This new obligation of more than $11 million, will allow us to rebuild and improve sports facilities in different communities in the south, southeast and northeast regions, and Río Grande. Rebuilding these facilities will stimulate the economy, especially in the south and southeast areas that have been so affected by the earthquakes of these last months. Let us not forget the importance of these facilities for the communities as they promote recreation, family and sports activities. Now we will begin a bidding process followed by the reconstruction of the structures.”

More than $3.6 million was approved for repairs to the buildings of the Department of Social Work, the Office of Health and Safety, Graphic Arts, and the aviary of the Humacao campus of the University of Puerto Rico.

“The project includes the use of nearly $1.5 million of the grant for mitigation measures such as reinforcing the roof and windows as well as installing doors and windows with watertight seals,” FEMA explained.

Another $8 million was also approved for permanent work in Jayuya. More than $6.1 million is earmarked for repairs to roads in the Timio and Ismael Torres Sectors in the Hoyo Planes Ward, “such as replacing asphalt and guard rails for the safety and benefit of the people of Jayuya who travel through these roadways,” according to the release.

“The Municipality of Jayuya continues working with FEMA and COR3 on claims related to damage caused by Hurricane María. This obligation for the road on Timio Medina will help approximately 25 families reach their homes safely. As soon as the municipality has access to these funds, the work will begin immediately,” Jayuya Mayor Jorge González says in the release.

The latest grants obligated are as follows:

  • Nearly $18.9 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
  • Nearly $15.6 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
  • Nearly $7.7 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
  • Nearly $4.6 million for emergency protective measures.
  • Nearly $230,800 to municipalities and government agencies for administrative costs.
  • Over $6,500 for water control facilities.

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