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FEMA Adds $45.01 Million in Mississippi Public Assistance

From: FEMA News Release         Filed 6/24/06 GCN

An additional $45.01 million in Public Assistance grants for Mississippi has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That brings the state's total FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement for Hurricane Katrina recovery to $1.33 billion.

The largest single grant, for $9.58 million, is for replacement of a large warehouse operated by the Mississippi State Port Authority. Among the damaged structures in the warehouse were four dry storage sheds and two refrigerated storage units. The building also included five offices, a rest room, refrigeration units, 36 overhead doors, and associated plumbing and electrical services.

  • The Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commission will receive $4.06 million to restore the Coliseum, plus a $733,595 hazard mitigation grant to protect against future flooding. The hurricane did extensive damage to the facility, and the project will bring it back to its pre-disaster condition.
  • FEMA will reimburse Dixie Electric Power Association $5.89 million to replace or repair damaged power lines, poles and other elements of its distribution system in Jones County. The power association will receive an additional $2.53 million for similar repairs in Wayne County.
  • A total of $7.5 million was awarded for five South Mississippi school projects: $1.74 million at Trent Lott Middle School in Pascagoula; $1.24 million for the first grade building and $1.12 million for the kindergarten building at North Bay Elementary School; $1.86 million for Gulfview Elementary School in Bay St. Louis; and $1.54 million to the Hancock County School District for portable classroom site preparation.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi will receive $2.08 million to rebuild the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center in Biloxi. The center was so severely damaged that it will be completely replaced.
  • The Harrison County Library System will receive $1.18 million to replace 30,000 destroyed books, furnishings and equipment at the Gulfport Public Library.
  • A $1.71 million grant will be used to replace the Chimney Square administration building in Picayune, which was severely damaged.
  • A grant of $2.24 million will be used for marine debris removal along the Hancock County shoreline, and screen approximately 275 acres of beach sand.
  • The City of Jackson was awarded $1.27 million in reimbursement for tipping fees or gate charges for depositing more than 250,000 cubic yards of storm debris in area landfills.
  • A grant of $2.3 million was awarded to the City of Long Beach for repairs to its damaged sewer system, including 27,950 linear feet of connection pipe.
  • The City of Gulfport will receive $1.64 million to clean storm debris and silt from its sanitary and storm sewer system.
  • D'Iberville will receive $1.29 million to replace 174 damaged grinder pumps, electrical conduit, manholes and associated elements of the city's sewer system.
  • The Hancock County Sheriff's Office will receive $1.01 million to replace 70 vehicles destroyed by the storm-46 patrol vehicles and 29 other vehicles.

At Governor Haley Barbour's request, FEMA extended the mission assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal in Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and unincorporated areas of Hancock County until August 29. The June 30 deadline remains in effect for 100 percent federal funding of debris removal and protective measures. Beginning July 1, the federal cost share will change to 90 percent. FEMA obligates this funding directly to the state, which in turn provides funds to eligible entities after review and receipt of appropriate documentation.

The grants are part of FEMA's Public Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations for disaster-related clean-up and rebuilding efforts. The grants help rebuild or restore buildings and infrastructure to pre-disaster condition. While these grants are aimed at governments and organizations, their final goal is to help a community and all its citizens recover from devastating natural disasters. The funds are administered by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.

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