MOORHEAD, Minn. -- As Minnesota rebuilds after spring floods, more than $5,367,000 is being processed for payment to eligible applicants in 28 counties to reimburse the costs of Public Assistance (PA) projects.
Through the PA Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides disaster assistance grants for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities like roads, bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, utilities, and parks and recreational facilities. Certain private organizations may be eligible as well. The PA Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
"FEMA is committed to helping Minnesota in their recovery," Federal Coordinating Officer Michael H. Smith said. To date, more than 634 requests made by jurisdictions have been combined into 1,409 sub grant applications which are currently being processed. Other applicants are continuing work in order to process additional requests. County and municipal officials are urged to move quickly in supplying documentation for PA reimbursement.
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 money to the state. It takes another three weeks to put the funds in the hands of the applicant. The paperwork must be as accurate as possible because everything is subject to state and federal audit.
"Delays happen when copies of contracts, insurance validation, receipts or invoices are missing," said Smith, 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 will receive 75 percent of their allowable costs for their projects.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.