$18 Million from Governor's Hurricane Recovery Fund
From: Office of the Governor
Filed 9/26/06 GCN
(BILOXI, Mississippi) - The Board of Directors of the Mississippi
Hurricane Recovery Fund has approved $18 million in grant commitments to
aid in the recovery process from the worst natural disaster in American
history. Under decisions made on September 22, 2006, Long Term Recovery
Committees in George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, and Stone
Counties are targeted to receive grants to help bridge gaps in un-funded
needs of residents.
Governor Haley Barbour, who created the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery
Fund within a few days after Hurricane Katrina struck the state on August
29, 2005, said, "My intention in creating this special fund was to attract
private monies to help victims of the hurricane with recovery costs that
exceeded coverage from other sources, such as insurance, government
grants, and immediate relief programs. Due to the generosity of people and
companies from all around the world, the Fund's outstanding Board of
Directors has allocated this $18 million to help individuals with needs
un-met by Federal funds."
Projects approved to receive grant commitments are:
Disaster Recovery Services of George County, MS, will receive $1.2 million
for a Regional Resource Center to be located in Lucedale;
Hancock County Long Term Recovery Committee, Harrison County Long Term
Recovery Coalition, and Rebuild Jackson County will share in a $15 million
allotment to be used for individual housing assistance;
Pearl River County Hope Committee will receive $650,000 for a Regional
Resource and Senior Center in Picayune;
Stone County Long Term Recovery Committee will receive $200, 000 to fund
housing repair projects.
Additionally, non-profit organizations in Harrison County and Hancock
County will receive $400,000 and $600,000, respectively, through each
county's Long Term Recovery Committee to supplement other non-profit
monies to build Community Resource Centers in the communities of DeLisle
Board Chairman Richard Hickson said, "As soon as these committees finalize
the details of their requested projects, the Fund will begin meeting its
commitments. The Board will monitor the spending of these funds to ensure
accountability and that project dollars are used to close the gap in
un-met needs. The Board is ever mindful that we are the trustees of our
contributors, a responsibility that we do not take lightly. "
These six Long Term Recovery Committees each represent a consortium of
non-profits and faith-based organizations located within their counties.
Identifying the funding gaps un-met by Federal or State recovery programs
began on March 9 with the Governor's Forum on Long Term Recovery hosted by
the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund. More than 250 organizations from
the lower six counties were invited to discuss how to identify and fund
the un-met needs in their local communities.
Following the forum, county committees came to together to communicate and
coordinate ways to maximize the limited recovery resources available.
Through this process these committees identified and prioritized the
un-funded needs of their neighbors. The committees presented their
requests to the Board in June.
The Board asked Governor Barbour to have all departments within State
government review the committees' needs requests to ensure none of the
requests could qualify for Federal or State assistance. Following the
State's review, in early September, the Board met with each committee to
gain additional understanding of each request. Following a two-week
period of review, the Board made grant commitments in its September 22
Governor Barbour expressed his gratitude to the Fund's Board members and
Officers, saying, "Each of you has given freely of your time and energy to
create a transparent process that ensures proper management and
accountability of this most important recovery task. I genuinely
appreciate the outstanding work of Board Chairman Richard Hickson of
Jackson; Board Members Royce Cumbest of Pascagoula, Peyton Self of Marks,
Chevis Swetman of Biloxi, and Ray Wesson of Gulfport; and officers William
T. Richardson, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer; J. Paul Varner,
Secretary; and Mike Summerford, Treasurer. I also want the public to know
that all of you served as volunteers in this important effort."
The Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund has received more than $18 million
through the worldwide support of over 8,500 contributors. The Fund has
benefited from three fund-raising events: The Mississippi Rising Concert
in Oxford, a Culinary Reception in Jackson, and the Governor's Cup Golf
Tournament at Old Waverly Golf Club, West Point. In addition, the Bush
Clinton Katrina Fund has pledged and is in the final process of releasing
$12.4 million to the Fund.