NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) recently announced $10.4 million in additional federal aid to Plaquemines Parish for Katrina-related damages at the Port Sulphur Civic Center, Boothville Community Center, Diamond Community Center and Davant Community Center.
“While this $10.4 million accounts for damages at these four facilities, the parish has chosen to use these funds to build four new consolidated community centers,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Acting Director Tony Russell. “Work on these consolidated community centers is underway, and their construction will greatly benefit the residents of Plaquemines Parish.”
In 2008, FEMA approved the parish’s plan to consolidate 10 pre-Katrina community service-oriented facilities into four new consolidated community centers – the Port Sulphur Consolidated Commuity Center, the Boothville-Venice Consolidated Community Center in Boothville, the Buras Consolidated Community Center and the Davant Consolidated Community Center.
“Plaquemines Parish officials have chosen to use these funds in a way they feel will best serve the needs of their citizens, which is part of our mission to have communities build back safer, smarter and stronger,” said Paul Rainwater, LRA executive director.
To date, FEMA has obligated approximately $28.2 million in public assistance funding for the construction of Plaquemines Parish’s four consolidated community centers.
The ten contributing facilities for the four new consolidated community centers include the Port Sulphur Civic Center, Boothville Community Center, Diamond Community Center, Davant Community Center, along with the Port Sulphur Medical Center, Boothville-Venice Senior Center, District 9 Council Office Building, Empire Civic Center, Port Sulphur Council on Aging and the Magnolia Center.
“This first-of-its-kind partnership combines federal funds with non-profit groups and private business donations. As a United Way board member, we’re very proud of the progress from conception to construction of these state-of-the-art community centers in Plaquemines Parish. The four centers will once again provide services and activities, essential to a healthy community, that have been missing since Hurricane Katrina. The Plaquemines Parish Council, FEMA, LRA, United Way, YMCA and local businesses worked as a team to pull this off,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are transferred to a federal Smartlink account. Once the funds have reached this account, the applicant can request reimbursement from GOHSEP for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the GOHSEP and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build,...