Several municipalities on the island will benefit from some $17 million for permanent work projects with funds approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rico Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3.
The allocations made June 5-11 will fund 75 recovery and reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico to address damage caused by Hurricane María in 2017, the agencies confirmed.
Among the recent allocations is more than $651,000 for the municipality of Caguas to repair the William Miranda Marin City Hall and the House of Chess. Replacement of tiles, paint, windows, doors, roof repairs and work in different areas of the City Hall are some of the repairs that will be carried out with this grant.
The House of Chess is a venue with several rooms for the physical and intellectual development of players. In addition, camps and socio-educational projects for its 1,000 monthly visitors also took place at the site.
“The repair of this facility presents an opportunity to continue developing the sport of chess in the city, a discipline that contributes to other intellectual skills,” said Caguas Mayor William Miranda-Torres.
“We’re confident that its reconstruction will contribute to building a place that will benefit social development and our Caguas community,” he said.
Nearly $263,000 was approved for the José “Chepo” De León Municipal Auditorium in the island’s northern town of Florida. The funds will be used for improvements throughout the facility, which since 1994 has served as a meeting place for nearly 4,500 families that live in the municipality.
“This sports facility is one of the main facilities in our municipality. Once it is repaired, we will again provide the excellent sports services that define us,” said the Mayor of Florida, José E. Gerena-Polanco.
Another $72,000 was allocated for repairs to the Municipal Emergency Management Office in Vega Baja. This grant impacts the municipality and seven neighboring towns that are part of this zone, represented by some 240,000 residents, FEMA officials said.
“The Municipal Emergency Management building will be totally redesigned to house the medical emergency, municipal police and Emergency Management offices to create a Security Center that can provide direct, humane and sensitive services to the population,” said Vega Baja Mayor Marcos Cruz-Molina.
Part of these allocations will be used for hazard mitigation, which represent an average savings of $4 for every $1 that is invested.
“For this purpose, the municipality of Caguas proposes the installation of an additional membrane for roof construction in both of its projects. While in Florida, mitigation measures include the use of stainless steel connectors and hardware for its auditorium ceiling repairs,” FEMA said in a statement.