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FEMA, COR3 assign $7.5M for 78 recovery projects

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have obligated nearly $7.5 million in additional funds for 78 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico, the agencies announced.

These funds were obligated from Dec. 13-19.

Among the obligations are funds for architectural and engineering design and repairs to roads and bridges in several neighborhoods in the municipalities of Utuado, Maricao, Jayuya, Naranjito and Yauco, among others. Many of these are considered small projects, which cost $123,100 or less, FEMA explained.

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 agency said.

“Working together with COR3 is the key to a successful recovery mission and these latest obligations are proof that our collaboration is yielding positive results. Our partnership is the foundation over which a stronger, more resilient Puerto Rico will be built,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico Alex Amparo.

The latest grants obligated are as follows:

  • More than $3 million for emergency protective measures;
  • Nearly $3 million for repairs to roads and bridges;
  • Nearly $784,000 for repairs to public buildings and equipment;
  • More than $500,000 to municipal governments for administrative costs;
  • More than $132,000 for work related to parks and recreational facilities;
  • Nearly $43,000 for repairs to public utilities; and,
  • More than $25,000 for debris removal.

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.

“Every day, our team and FEMA put in the necessary effort to move the island’s recovery and reconstruction projects forward” said COR3 Executive Director Ottmar Chávez.

“We realize there is much to be done, but we are on track to accomplishing recovery in a much stronger way that will benefit all communities,” he said. “This is a joint effort where all of us, without distinction, contribute to the rebuilding process.”

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 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 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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