The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have assigned more than $20.5 million in additional funds for 37 projects related to Puerto Rico’s recovery and reconstruction.
These funds were obligated between Dec. 20-26, the agencies confirmed.
“FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to develop strategies that advance recovery projects. To date, more than $6 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program,” the agencies stated in a release.
The latest grants obligated are as follows:
- More than $6.7 million for administrative costs;
- More than $6 million for emergency protective measures;
- More than $5.1 million for repairs to roads and bridges;
- Nearly $1.3 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment;
- More than $1.2 million for work related to parks and recreational facilities; and,
- Nearly $50,000 for repairs to public utilities.
“FEMA and COR3 remain focused on prioritizing obligations of funds to municipalities for eligible expenses related to Hurricanes Irma and María to help communities recover,” they said.
As part of the grants awarding process for small projects, those projects with a cost of $123,100 or less, 90% of the project cost estimate (federal cost share) is disbursed during obligation, without the requirement of a request for reimbursement.
For projects with a higher cost, known as large projects, the sub-recipient requests reimbursement after the project is obligated, which leads to a formal request of the corresponding documents. Once these are received, COR3 as the recipient evaluates and approves to disburse the funds.
Many projects during this phase of the recovery are for architectural and engineering design, which may open the door to funding opportunities for larger projects in the future. These funds help to reduce the “damage-rebuild-damage” cycle that comes with restoring structures to pre-disaster conditions.
“They assure quality by meticulously detailing scopes of work to ensure a repaired and rebuilt Puerto Rico is better positioned to withstand another storm,” the agencies stated.
Emergency protective measures are actions taken to eliminate or lessen immediate threats either to lives, public health or safety, or significant additional damage to public or private property in a cost-effective manner.
Funding for permanent work includes projects like roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and park and recreation facilities as authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.
FEMA works with COR3 through its Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and local government agencies for expenses related to Hurricanes Irma and María.