The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, have obligated more than $13.9 million in funds for 131 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico, they announced.
The latest grants assigned on Feb. 7-20 for permanent projects are:
- More than $6.6 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
- More than $5.6 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
- More than $1.5 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
- More than $72,200 for public utilities
“We’re focused on obligating projects every day and our staff are dedicated to supporting the Government of Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from the hurricanes,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alex Amparo.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work we do, in coordination with COR3, to help municipalities rebuild stronger,” he said.
Among the obligations are more than $2.2 million to replace the communal basketball court in Barrio La Plata in Aibonito, including lighting, bleachers, scoreboard, bathrooms, ventilation system and part of its fence.
Another $354,000 was obligated for repairs to its renowned Mirador La Piedra, which includes work to its gazebos, lighting system, bathrooms and fence.
“It is great that these funds have arrived to continue promoting economic development and job creation at the Mirador de La Piedra Degetau and for recreational, sports and religious activities at the Barrio La Plata basketball court,” said the Mayor of Aibonito, William Alicea-Perez.
The town of Corozal, also in the central mountainous region of the island, has obligations totaling nearly $5.3 million to date for repairs to its many roads and bridges that were affected by the storms. Recently, funds were approved for repairs to a road in the Moncho Santos neighborhood, which was severely damaged.
“I have to thank the team at FEMA and COR3 for their efforts and excellent teamwork, it means so much that we can count on these funds. There are many residents with critical health issues that we must provide assistance for and help find immediate solutions so that these roadways are safe for them,” said the Mayor of Corozal, Sergio Torres.
FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to develop strategies that advance recovery projects. To date, $6.6 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, the agencies said.
“Over the past few months we have seen important and significant progress in the small projects initiative as the number of obligated projects steadily increases,” said COR3 Executive Director Ottmar Chávez-Piñero.
“Our plan of prioritizing a strategy to move small projects forward is evident when each month we achieve new obligations that will allow subrecipients to carry out work that directly impacts communities,” he said.
“At COR3 we will continue to assist subrecipients and maintain communication and coordination with municipal and local agency liaisons, as well as with FEMA, to remain steadfast in the recovery and reconstruction process,” he added.
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.