FEMA: Recovery Efforts Continue with Funding Obligations for 84 Projects
428 Grants Approved in April
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – FEMA and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have obligated nearly $11.5 million in funds for 84 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico due to Hurricane María. These funds were obligated between April 17 and April 23.
“These funding obligations represent the work of all our local staff that are moving recovery forward on the island every day. Each project is a sign of progress that will benefit all Puerto Ricans as they rebuild their communities” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alex Amparo.
The latest grants obligated are as follows:
- Over $4.3 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
- Nearly $3.8 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
- Over $2.6 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
- Nearly $476,000 for emergency protective measures.
- Nearly $200,000 for debris removal.
- Over $76,000 for public utilities.
- Over $32,000 for water control facilities.
- Over 22,000 to municipalities and government agencies for administrative costs.
“Obligations for recovery work represent the commitment between FEMA, COR3 and the sub-recipients. During these two months we have seen obligations increase significantly compared to the first few months of this process after Hurricane Maria. We expect to close April with more obligations and continue to meet projections throughout the rest of the year. Despite the challenges that have arisen, communication and coordination have been key to making this possible for the benefit of each of the island’s communities,” said the Executive Director of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, Ottmar Chavez Piñero.
With an obligation of nearly $630,000, the José “Pito” Montes basketball court in the municipality of Canóvanas will undergo “significant repairs to this staple of the community of Barrio Palma Sola. New doors, rubber padded flooring and extensive electric work throughout the facilities are some of the improvements that will be possible with these funds,” FEMA’s press release reads.
“The impact of Hurricane Maria caused severe damage. The community, including the youth, have continuously requested that these facilities be rehabilitated. It is extremely important to the municipality that FEMA has approved funds to restore this facility, as keeping recreational areas functioning is part of the municipality’s public policy. The new structure will be stronger and more resilient to any natural phenomenon. It will include exercise, basketball and volleyball programs. An outdoor gym, cardio, calisthenics, aerobics and boot camp programs will also be added. The project is expected to be completed in approximately one year. The repair of this recreational area is for the use and enjoyment of the community of Palma Sola and at the same time, it is extremely important for the benefit of the programs that the community had established,” said the mayor of Canóvanas, Lornna Soto Villanueva.
Among the obligations for public buildings is the approval of over $25,000 for the municipality of Arroyo for repairs to its municipal recycling center. Located on El Flamboyán road, work on the center includes repairing fences and removing exterior plywood walls, roof panels and ceilings. Mitigation measures such as reinforcing walls and installing impact resistant windows are also part of the plans.
“The federal funding obligation we recently received will help us strengthen our municipality’s recycling program, which currently affects 75 percent of the Arroyo population, by recycling cardboard, plastic, newspaper, aluminum and mixed or shredded paper. In turn, the improvements that will be made to the recycling center will have a direct impact on the functionality of our landfill. I will continue to work hand in hand with the federal agencies to ensure that Arroyo is fully recovered from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria,” said the mayor of Arroyo, Eric Bachier Román.
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. 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.
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. To date, over $6.6 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery after Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and recovery.pr. You can also follow FEMA’s and COR3’s social networks on Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.