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Katrina recovery funds approved

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) announced funding for Mississippi to assist in continued Hurricane Katrina recovery. The funding was approved through the FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill, which was agreed to by the Senate-House Conference Committee.

Funding details are:

n $439 million for Mississippi’s barrier islands — Funds will be used to fortify and restore the islands, which were severely damaged during Katrina. The funding is provided in response to a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identifying restoration activities and estimating the funding needed.

n $80 million for new housing vouchers for areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina — Funding will enable the State of Mississippi, along with public housing authorities and case management services, to place Mississippians who were displaced by Katrina in permanent homes.

n Extension of FEMA disaster housing case management for the State of Mississippi — Provisions in the bill will allow FEMA to continue reimbursing Mississippi through March 2010 for activities to help find permanent housing solutions for the approximately 2,000 Mississippi households remaining in FEMA housing.

n $49 million for the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant at Stennis Space Center — Funding will go to repair the former Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant, which was damaged by Katrina and is scheduled to be transferred from Army control back to NASA under provisions of the 2005 round of BRAC. The Army operated the 4,400 acre plant from 1984 to 1990, employing more than 3,500. Since its closure in 1990, the Army has deferred maintenance and invested minimal resources in the upkeep of the property.

In a related item, FEMA has released over $13 million in federal grants for the State of Mississippi associated with Hurricane Katrina.

Funds have been awarded to the following areas:

  •  City of D’Iberville – approximately $1.167 million for restoration of public utilities
  •  Bay St. Louis School District – approximately $3.536 million for relocation of North Bay Elementary
  •  City of Pass Christian – approximately $2.223 million for repairing and replacing roads and bridges; approximately $2.251 million for restoration of damaged infrastructure; and, approximately $2.299 million for repairing and restoring roadways, curbs, gutters, drainage and infrastructure
  •  City of Long Beach – approximately $1.987 million for repairing and replacing roads and bridges

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