NEW YORK – Following Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been working to reimburse local governments and some private nonprofits for some of the costs of emergency response, debris removal and for repairing or rebuilding damaged public facilities.
So far, nearly $608 million in Public Assistance (PA) grant funding from FEMA has been approved for projects in the 14 New York counties designated for PA disaster assistance.
FEMA recognizes the financial burden on local agencies for response and recovery costs and is committed to helping ease that burden, according to Michael F. Byrne, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for New York.
“The Public Assistance reimbursements will help significantly reduce the impact of Hurricane Sandy costs on local budgets,” Byrne said. “Our goal is to help agencies obtain the maximum disaster assistance they are eligible for under the law.”
More than 129 PA grants have been approved since the Oct. 30, 2012 Presidential disaster declaration, including a $103 million reimbursement to the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation to replace medical equipment and repair damaged clinics, $106 million for the NYPD for personnel overtime and materials used for emergency protective measures and more than $114 million to the New York University Langone Medical Center for patient evacuation, emergency repairs and clean-up of critical service and facilities.
To be eligible for PA grants, damage must be a result of the disaster, be located within the designated disaster area and be the responsibility of the applicant. Eligible applicants include state and local governments, tribal nations and certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations that provide an essential public service.
There are two types of work eligible for reimbursement through a PA grant: emergency work and permanent work. Emergency work may include reimbursement for debris removal and emergency action
taken to protect lives or property. Permanent work may include reimbursement for repair or restoration of public facilities, such as roads, bridges and public buildings.
FEMA reimburses eligible applicants for 75 percent of their eligible costs. The remaining 25 percent comes from non-federal funds.
Other New York grants include: a $1,600 grant to the Mattituck Park District in North Fork for material to prevent further erosion to sidewalks, more than $112,000 to reimburse the Town of Shelter Island for debris removal and remediation and a $220,000 reimbursement to the Hudson River Park Trust for the clean-up of an oil spill and debris.
To learn more about FEMA Public Assistance in New York, visit: http://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit and www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/recovery.