Baton Rouge, LA -- Nearly $45 million dollars is being processed for payment to eligible applicants to reimburse costs of Public Assistance (PA). Other applicants are continuing work in order to process additional requests, according to Art Jones, state coordinating officer. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state remain committed to helping Louisianans in their recovery," Jones said.
"FEMA and the state continue working closely with parish and municipal officials providing technical assistance to support the evaluation and review process of the projects for the prompt delivery of the funds," said Joe M. Allbaugh, FEMA director.
Parish and municipal officials are urged to move quickly in supplying documentation for PA reimbursement following the twin disasters, Tropical Store Isidore and Hurricane Lili.
Permits must be secured before delivery of any funds from FEMA through the state. If all paperwork is correct, it normally takes no more than two weeks from the time a project worksheet is submitted to FEMA to obligate the money to the state and another three weeks to put the funds in the hands of the applicant. It takes time and all work must be as accurate as possible because all work will be subject to state and federal audit.
"Delays happen when copies of contracts, insurance validation, receipts or invoices are missing," said Carlos Mitchell, federal coordinating officer. "It's first come, first served, so it's in the best interest of the applicant to get the paperwork organized as quickly as possible."
Eligible applicants receive reimbursement of 75 percent of the allowable cost of emergency protective measures, debris removal, and the repair, replacement or restoration of flood-damaged public facilities, such as roads and bridges, buildings, parks, water control facilities and utilities.