TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $1 million grant to the Harris County Flood Control District under a pilot program that pays for permanent staff and equipment carrying out debris-related work during regular working hours.
The $1,128,329 FEMA grant reimburses the state 100 percent of the flood control district's costs for what the pilot program calls "force account labor costs" and "force account equipment costs," as well as for rental and dumping fees for debris removal. The work was performed up through the Dec. 31, 2008, end of the pilot program. After the deadline, non-overtime costs for debris removal no longer were eligible for reimbursement.
Congress authorized the Public Assistance Pilot Program in June 2007 to expedite assistance to local governments while increasing flexibility of grant administration and reducing costs to the federal government.
"The pilot program was received enthusiastically in Texas after Hurricane Ike, and the most widely used component was the provision for force account labor," said Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris. "This is one way FEMA is helping Texas counties recover from the storm."
Once FEMA pays the funds to the state of Texas, their management, including disbursement to local governments and organizations performing services, is the responsibility of the state. The obligated funds are a portion of more than $1 billion in total Public Assistance disaster funds sent to the state since September 2008.
"This federal grant gives the flood control district an important helping hand in its Ike recovery efforts," said State Coordinating Officer Joan Haun.
FEMA responds to all eligible requests for assistance through the Public Assistance program. For more Public Assistance information by county, go to www.fema.gov/ike and click on the Disaster Statistics button.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.