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FEMA, COR3 assign $37.8M in recovery funds, including Ponce Port repairs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have destined an additional $37.8 million in funds for 116 recovery and reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico. 

The funds were approved between Feb. 28 and Mar. 6 and include more than $1.2 million for the Ponce Port Authority for repairs to the crane systems at Puerto de Las Américas.

To date, more than $6.5 million has been approved for the Ponce Port Authority for emergency protective measures, architectural and engineering design costs and other permanent work to its facilities, the agencies said.

“FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to develop strategies that advance recovery projects. To date, more than $6.4 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program,” they said.

The latest grants obligated are as follows:

  • Nearly $12 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
  • More than $10.4 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
  • Nearly $9 million to municipalities and government agencies for administrative costs.
  • More than $4.5 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
  • More than $1.6 million for emergency protective measures.
  • More than $177,800 for public utilities.
  • More than $155,300 for debris removal.

“I appreciate FEMA’s hard work. This is excellent news since with this award, we can move business at the port forward and begin to repair and provide maintenance for the cranes,” said Ponce Mayor María “Mayita” Meléndez.

Another obligation is nearly $3.8 million to the municipality of Barceloneta to repair hurricane-related damage to the Sixto Escobar gym auditorium.

“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,” the agencies said.

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.

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, 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 the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to Hurricanes Irma and María.

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

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