COR3: 300+ permanent reconstruction projects completed with FEMA funds
Municipalities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Puerto Rico have completed 337 permanent works projects with funds allocated under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program, the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) confirmed.
“FEMA has obligated more than $24 billion under the Public Assistance program, including more than $18 billion for permanent category reconstruction works for the Hurricane Irma and María disasters,” said COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy.
Several agencies have completed projects with the funds, including the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, in Spanish), the Justice Department, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, among others, as well as in municipalities and nonprofits, he said.
To date, of the 337 permanent works projects completed, COR3 has disbursed about $13.8 million corresponding to 220 projects. It is expected that by the end of this year the execution of permanent works projects and the COR3 disbursements to the sub-recipients will increase, he said.
Meanwhile, most permanent projects that require the highest funding allocations are in their initial stages of design, bids, and construction. COR3 has disbursed about $4.7 billion under categories A and B for emergency projects and permanent works for the Irma, María, earthquakes and COVID-19 disasters, Laboy said.
The permanent works carried out by the sub-recipients cover categories C, D, E and F. Under Category C, there are funds that are destined for the reconstruction of municipal roads and bridges. Meanwhile, Category D is for improvements in water control facilities. In the case of Category E, the infrastructure needs in buildings are met, as well as equipment.
On the other hand, Category G is aimed at the reconstruction of parks, recreational facilities, among others, and Category F is for the recovery of basic services.
“There’s a long way to go, but we remain focused on making the necessary changes that eliminate the bureaucracy that stops the development of reconstruction projects,” Laboy said.
“We’re working in conjunction with the municipalities and other government agencies to meet our commitment with the people and the commitment to renew Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, which is the foundation of the island’s economic development,” said Laboy.