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COR3: Nearly 200 entities have applied for public assistance

The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) has received 195 applications under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Request for Public Assistance Program, for damages caused by Hurricane Fiona.

FEMA has identified 147 of them as eligible for funding, said COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy, while urging government entities, municipalities and nonprofit organizations who have not done so to apply before the Oct. 21 deadline.

“Government agencies, municipalities and nonprofits have submitted their applications and have received an affirmative response on eligibility,” he said. The process has been diligent and efficient.”

“Additional data on the damage estimates for Hurricane Fiona will be provided to FEMA at the end of this week,” he said.

Of the 195 applications submitted, 78 correspond to municipalities, 75 were submitted by nonprofit organizations and another 42 were submitted to address damages in government agencies.

Once the applications are entered into COR3’s Grants Portal system, it is confirmed that they meet FEMA’s criteria. That leads to an evaluation process that includes, but is not limited to, the development of the scope of work that will lead to conceptualizing the project that the Public Assistance Program will finance.

As part of the changes in FEMA policies, now every emergency or permanent project whose cost is less than $1 million is considered a “small” one, which implies that its disbursement will be expedited. Before, a small project was considered one that had a cost equal to or less than $123,100.

“As for the emergency stabilization work, covered under categories A and B, there are municipalities or agencies that have already carried out the necessary work to safeguard life and property,” Laboy said.

“With this in mind, at COR3 we have held several workshops known as ‘Applicant Briefings,’ both in-person and virtually, to guide subrecipients on the processes they must follow for projects to be eligible under FEMA guidelines,” he said.

Meanwhile, as part of the process, the Bureau for Emergency and Disaster Management (NMEAD, in Spanish), along with FEMA and assistance from COR3, are evaluating preliminary damage caused by the storm that hit Puerto Rico Sept. 18.

As part of that process, FEMA has already validated 59 municipalities as able to apply under the Public Assistance Program for funds for permanent project categories from C to G, which include work on buildings, highways, basic services, water control facilities, and recreational parks, among others.

All 78 municipalities can carry out work through the emergency categories, according to President Joe Biden’s disaster declaration.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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