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P.R. gets $54M FEMA allocation for towns, $450K from Dept. of Commerce

The Federal Agency for Emergency Management announced expense reimbursements to several Puerto Rico municipalities and government agencies, for work related to hurricane María totaling $53.5 million, Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González confirmed.

The island is also getting $450,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce for the public safety broadband network.

The FEMA funds come from assignments González has worked on from Congress, through budget or supplemental appropriations disaster bills. These funds are given under the Public Assistance program and are available once the recipients complete all required documentation and after it is reviewed by the government, she said.

Under Category A, which covers expenses for debris removal, the town of Trujillo Alto will receive $6.1 million and the Department of Education, $13.7 million.

Category B covers the measures taken to provide “essential assistance” to address the immediate threats to life and property of a major disaster. Under this category $19.8 million were approved for the Department of Education’s Bayamón Region; $10.8 million for temporary Department of Education facilities; and $2.8 million for the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

Meanwhile, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, under the Department of Commerce, awarded the amount to the Puerto Rico Public Safety Bureau through the Job Creation and Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2012.

The mandate created a national public safety broadband network dedicated to police, firefighters, professionals, emergency medical services and other public safety entities, which led to the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, within the NTIA.

The law also imposed on the NTIA the establishment of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program to help local governments identify, plan and implement the most efficient and effective means to use and integrate the infrastructure, equipment and other architectures associated with the NPSBN to meet the needs of broadband services and wireless data of its jurisdictions.

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