Puerto Rico mayor: Ponce’s reconstruction will cost $392 million
Meléndez to question Washington, says town can’t wait 18 years
SAN JUAN – The mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, María Eloísa “Mayita” Meléndez Altieri said Monday that the reconstruction of Ponce after 2017’s Hurricane Maria will cost about $392 million and could take about 18 years to complete.
“We suggested and presented a pilot plan. In fact, I am going to the United States next week because, obviously, this cannot continue to be delayed. It’s been two years already, and this is going to take, the director of COR3 [Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency] said, about 18 years. Rebuilding [aftet Hurricane] Katrina was around 13 years. We are not going to wait 18 years when we are exposed every six months to a hurricane,” the mayor said.
Meléndez added that she will go to Congress to seek an answer about those funds. Regarding the funds received, she said Ponce had received category A and B funds but has yet to receive other disbursements.
The mayor made the remarks after a meeting between Puerto Rico’s mayors and Chief of Staff Zoé Laboy Alvarado, held to discuss Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG) Program funds that are currently in the hands of the Housing Department.