GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – To date, FEMA has obligated over $67 million to repair and rebuild parks and other recreational facilities on the island that were damaged by Hurricane María. Representing 161 projects, these funds will help restore the sense of community that is an integral part to the recovery of so many on the island.
“Recovery is more than obligating federal funds, it’s about helping communities regain a sense of normalcy after disasters. These funds will not only help stimulate the local economy, they will help rebuild and repair many community parks and recreational facilities which in many ways are the essence of these neighborhoods,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alex Amparo.
Among the obligations are over $3.6 million for the Puerto Rico Department of Sports and Recreation. Funding for seven projects include over $1.8 million for the Osvaldo Rivera Athletic Park in Coamo, more than $411,000 for the Hato Arriba basketball court in San Sebastián and nearly $111,000 for the Mayagüez Terrace Sports Complex, among others.
“In the recovery process, the parks and recreational facilities projects are important and have a significant impact because many times it is in these places where community dynamics are developed and where children and young people develop in different areas of interest. With these obligations, the subrecipients will be able to begin these projects that drive local activity and move the recovery of the Island forward," said the director of COR3, Ottmar Chávez Piñero.
For her part, the secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Sports and Recreation, Adriana Sánchez Parés, stated that projects relate to sports and recreational facilities are key to the agency’s recovery and reconstruction plan.
“As a Department our goal is to not only rebuild spaces to code and that are resilient, but to seek community empowerment in renewed spaces. These obligations for reconstruction will allow for just that: through the reconstruction process it will rekindle the local economy by creating jobs, but more importantly, it will lead to the restoration of spaces that will serve communities by providing a space for sports, wellness and recreation for all ages,” said Sánchez Parés. “Once these projects are finalized, the Department will work hand in hand with municipalities and communities for the development of sports and recreational programs and hope this augmented vision of health and wellness serves as an incentive for the continuance and maintenance of these spaces and programs.”
FEMA works with COR3 through the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the Government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and María.
FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to develop strategies that advance recovery projects. To date, over $6.4 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA's Public Assistance program.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and www.recovery.pr. You can also follow FEMA’s and COR3’s social networks on Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.
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