Augusta, Maine - In the three months following two federal disaster declarations in Maine, more than $9 million in Public Assistance (PA) funds have been dispersed to impacted communities. The PA funds are part of more than $14 million in disaster aid for the state, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
Through the PA program, FEMA provides state and local governments and eligible nonprofit agencies funds to repair or replace damaged roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and their contents, publicly owned utilities and parks and recreation areas. It also includes funds for emergency services and eligible debris-removal costs related to the disaster. FEMA reimburses the applicant 75 percent of the eligible cost; the state and local applicant cover the remaining 25 percent.
All levels of government have a role in getting the grant money to the applicant for PA projects. For every applicant, a team with one FEMA member and one state member shepherds the project(s) through the process. As projects are approved for funding, the state receives the obligated funds as the grants manager, and then distributes the funds to local governments and nonprofit agencies.
So far, 972 PA projects have been funded, and federal and state project officers continue to work with local officials in formulating and funding the remaining projects. FEMA?s PA obligated share totals more than $9.1 million so far.
In addition to PA grants, more than $1.7 million has been approved to cover rental assistance, temporary lodging and grants for home repairs not covered by insurance, as well as $130,860 for personal property loss, medical or dental costs and other significant disaster-related expenses. More than 2,600 households applied for assistance.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved low-interest disaster loans totaling more than $3.4 million for homeowners, renters and business owners to repair their dwellings or businesses, replace damaged personal property and compensate for lost revenue.
Although the registration period has ended, individuals who have applied for assistance and have additional questions may visit www.fema.gov/assistance or call the toll-free FEMA Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired. For questions regarding SBA disaster loans, call 1-800-659-2955, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekdays, or 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.