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FEMA assigns $62M for 89 recovery projects in Puerto Rico

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Central Office for Puerto Rico Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, announced the obligation of nearly $62 million in additional funds for 89 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico after Hurricane María.

The funds were assigned on July 10-16 and include $23 million for repairs to roads and bridges across the island, the agencies said.

Among the recent grants are more than $3.5 million to repair the Hotel Parador Baños de Coamo, known for its thermal bathing pools.

The historic complex consists of four buildings, located on PR-15, with a total of 48 guest units, gazebos, and a central courtyard. Multiple repairs will be made to the structure for the benefit of the thousands of visitors who come to the small inn, one of Puerto Rico’s iconic tourist attraction founded in 1847.

“The Lands Administration is very pleased to receive funds from FEMA for the recovery and rehabilitation of the landmark Hotel Baños in Coamo. This investment in federal funds will benefit the tourism activity of the area, as well as the promotion of the economic development of the Municipality of Coamo and this region,” said the Puerto Rico Lands Administration Executive Director Dalcia Lebrón-Nieves.

Similarly, in the central region of the island, a little more than $3.1 million is earmarked for two sports facilities in Cidra, including the little league baseball park and the Jesus M. Freire baseball stadium where the Municipal Office for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration and the Department of Sports and Recreation’s administrative offices are located, respectively.

In addition to sporting events, the facilities host multiple activities for the 43,000 residents of this town including graduations, concerts and fundraising activities for nonprofit organizations such as the American Cancer Society.

“These facilities represent the city’s main sports and recreational complex. The little league stadium also houses a water distribution point for emergency situations,” said Cidra Mayor Javier Carrasquillo-Cruz.

Another $1.1 million was obligated to the municipality of Guayanilla for paving and other repairs to the El Monte road, which provides access for the families of the Jagua Tuna neighborhood.

“We’ve been working for a long time to make projects like this happen in our town. I am thankful that this work on the road infrastructure of this community has begun and I trust that the projects of our town will continue to progress,” said the Mayor of Guayanilla, Nelson Torres-Yordán.

Part of these funds will be used for mitigation measures to prevent possible future damage. The Lands Administration will use about $2 million for the installation of hurricane rated light poles, an anchorage system for the roof unit that resists wind pressure and the replacement of windows and doors, it confirmed.

Meanwhile, Cidra is considering installing gabion walls and geotextile to prevent erosion and landslides, totaling about $1.9 million for its two recreational projects, the agencies said.

Furthermore, Guayanilla will use about $571,000 to include a drainage system which will reduce problems during similar events.

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

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