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Katrina recovery package 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.

The Conference Report, which was agreed to by the Senate and the House of Representatives, was approved yesterday by the U.S. Senate.

Final passage of the federal supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009 is a milestone in our continuing recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in American history,” said Gov. Haley Barbour.

Funding details include:

• $439 million for Mississippi’s Barrier Islands — Funds will be used to fortify and restore the islands, which were severely damaged during the hurricanes of 2005. 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.

• $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 work to expeditiously place Mississippians who were displaced by Katrina in permanent homes.

• Extension of FEMA disaster housing case management — 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.

• $49 million for the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant (MSAAP) at Stennis Space Center — Funding will go to repair the former MSAAP, 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 1984-1990, 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.

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