The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rico Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, announced the obligation of more than $14 million in additional grants for 74 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico after Hurricane María.
Of these funds granted July 3-9, 65 allocations will go toward permanent work projects throughout the island, the agencies said.
The most recent obligations include the approval of a key architectural and engineering design project for more than $601,000 to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. This technical assessment will facilitate the initial phase of repairs to the two docks where nearly 500,000 passengers disembarked last year, the federal agency said.
“This obligation of FEMA funds will be very useful for the Port Authority since it will help accelerate the studies and designs needed to repair the damage caused by Hurricane María to Pan American Piers 1 and 2 on Isla Grande, which are fundamental for our cruise operation in the future,” said Ports Authority Executive Director Joel A. Piza-Batiz.
On the other hand, just over $1.9 million were approved for the municipality of Isabela to repair the municipality’s security cameras and three recreational facilities. A portion of the funds will address the replacement of 26 surveillance cameras located around the municipality in order to strengthen the security of the over 45,000 residents.
Also, the Francisco “Paco” Dumeng Athletic track, where hundreds of people go daily and has 10 outdoor exercise stations, will undergo repairs with the help of federal funds. The track benefits two athletic clubs that compete at the island wide level.
Two other facilities will also benefit: the town’s Basketball Sports Complex — one of the most popular centers for the people of Isabela and home to the Los Chorritos Water Park — and the Integral Youth Center, a space where nonprofit organizations provide orientation, education and entertainment to more than 1,100 children.
“We’re glad that these projects can move forward. These projects are important because they are very useful,” said Isabela Mayor Carlos “Charlie” Delgado-Altieri.
“For the city, this represents the completion of a resilience cycle so that we can recover the economic stability, and the social stability that many of these projects provide,” he said.
At the heart of the island, more than $95,000 was approved for the municipality of Naranjito to repair PR-802 road, Alvarado Sector intersection in Barrio Cedro Arriba. About 10 families will benefit from the improvements in the area, which includes asphalting the roads.
“We’ll finally be able to guarantee safe and permanent access to the residents of the Los Rolones Sector of the Cedro Arriba neighborhood of Naranjito,” said the Mayor of Naranjito, Orlando Ortiz-Chevres.
A portion of the funds obligated to these municipalities will be used to prevent possible future damage.
For this, the municipality of Isabela proposes the installation of roof anchors, replacement of posts, installation of geotextile material to reduce the risk of erosion, anchoring for air conditioning units, and reinforcement of camera equipment for a more resistant one for a total of about $153,000 for their projects.
In Naranjito, concrete curbs and gutters will be installed, as well as drainage structures, with about $19,000 for mitigation measures.