NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) announced today an additional $10.9 million in federal aid for Katrina-related recovery efforts at three fire stations across Southeast Louisiana.
The recent funding has been obligated toward the replacement of three fire stations: St. Bernard Fire Station #6, Plaquemines Boothville-Venice Firehouse and Plaquemines Port Sulphur Fire Station. All three fire stations are eligible for FEMA funding as replacement projects because of the extent of their storm-related damages.
“Fire stations, along with the courageous men and women who work out of them, help safeguard the properties and lives of their surrounding communities,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Interim Director Mark Landry. “Through providing funding to restore such crucial facilities, we are not only aiming to rebuild their physical structures, but more importantly, we are attempting to help restore public safety and normalcy to their larger communities.”
“Getting our first responders back in the field has always been a recovery priority, and these funds will restore fire stations in parishes most affected by Hurricane Katrina,” said Robin Keegan, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
St. Bernard Fire Station #6 will receive more than $1.1 million in additional funding toward the demolition of the existing damaged facility.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from our partners with FEMA and from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness,” St. Bernard Parish President Craig P. Taffaro, Jr. said. “The funding support from FEMA has been a critical component of our recovery. We started with not a single fire station under repair when our team began work in January 2008. Today there are five completed stations and five brand new ones under construction.”
The bulk of the recent funding went toward Plaquemines Parish, with $5.1 million allocated to the parish’s Boothville-Venice Firehouse and $4.7 million to its Port Sulphur Fire Station. Both grants were provided by FEMA to align estimated costs with actual construction costs. The two Plaquemines stations are anticipated to be completed in April.
“We're real happy with the swift response from FEMA on the additional funding for our fire stations,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. “The new administration has been outstanding to work with and has done a great job at responding to Plaquemines Parish’s needs.”
To date, FEMA has provided more than $101 million to help damaged fire stations throughout Louisiana recover from the affects of Hurricane Katrina.
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 Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and partners with state and federal agencies to ove...