ALBANY, N. Y. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that only two days after President Bush signed an appropriations bill for ongoing disaster projects, more than $6.3 million has been approved for Public Assistance projects. These funds are approved for the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure damaged as a result of the severe storms and flooding that occurred May 13 through June 17, 20004.
To date, FEMA and the State have identified more than $14 million of eligible Public Assistance projects for the state of New York. Under the disaster declaration, 14 New York counties became eligible for Public Assistance. FEMA pays 75 percent of the approved project cost and will continue to approve funding until all remaining projects are approved.
The money is awarded to state, local governments, and all other political subdivisions of the state, in disaster-affected areas, to help defray the following costs:
- Debris removal;
- Emergency protective measures taken before, during, and after a disaster to save lives, and to protect public health and safety. Expenses for personnel overtime and compensatory time for those involved directly in the disaster may also be recovered;
- Repair of roads and bridges;
- Repair or replacement of buildings, including their contents and also the repair or replacement of heavy equipment and vehicles;
- Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools and cemeteries; and
- Certain administration fees.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.