Mayors Federation seeks direct allocation of Fiona recovery funds
The Puerto Rico Mayors Federation, headed by Camuy Mayor Gabriel Hernández-Rodríguez, sent a letter to US Congressman and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asking that the emergency funds allocated for Hurricane Fiona recovery efforts are assigned directly to the 78 municipal governments.
The request stems from their belief that “municipalities themselves can act quicker and more effectively in their respective recovery and reconstruction processes,” he said.
In its letter, the Federation states that if additional funds are allocated after the major disaster declaration, a mechanism of direct assistance to local governments should be used, as was done with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
“We’re requesting the implementation of the same model for allocating federal emergency funds that was used during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the municipalities received the grants directly, without bureaucracy or delays,” said Hernández-Rodríguez.
“This allowed us to act with greater agility to rebuild our municipalities and address critical and urgent recovery needs. Time is a key factor, and the recovery process cannot be delayed,” he said.
He further said that local governments are better able to identify the real needs of their citizens.
“To date, it has been shown that municipalities, through the direct allocation of federal relief and recovery funds, can quickly and effectively help communities cope with the harsh consequences caused by these damaging events,” he said.