SBPSO rebuilding funded by FEMAMar 5th, 2012 | By admin | Category: News
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced more than $5.5 million in public assistance funding to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office for contents damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
“The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office is grateful for all the hard work of dedicated FEMA officials, without whose efforts we would not have been able to recover to the extent we have,” said Sheriff Jack A. Stephens. “We also want the public to understand this money doesn’t represent a check coming to us that we can use for anything we want. This is money already obligated for recovery efforts for eligible work completed.”
During the storm, SBSO facilities sustained extensive damages, resulting in FEMA previously providing approximately 20 separate grants to replace the department’s contents losses. More recently, the Sheriff’s Office requested FEMA to fund an improved project to consolidate these multiple grants into one through using a broader content categorization system.
“Our recent funding approves this request, offering more flexibility to purchase new contents across agreed upon categories,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “This funding technique provides more flexible recovery support compared to the traditional method.”
Before, the Sheriff’s Office needed to replace damaged contents “item for item” when using federal dollars, whereas this new approach allows the buying of similar items within five categories—information technology, law enforcement equipment and supplies, office equipment and supplies, furnishings, and kitchen and laundry equipment and supplies.
To date, including this recent consolidated grant, FEMA has provided approximately $93.2 million in funding to SBSO for recovery efforts related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
As part of the $93.2 million, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., recently announced $22.8 million going from FEMA to the Sheriff’s Office to cover emergency measures taken before, during and after Katrina, including temporary offices and housing. That money didn’t represent a check coming to the Sheriff’s Office, but rather money already obligated and spent, Sheriff Stephens said.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental public assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant 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.