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FEMA awards Cape Coral $4.6 million for Hurricane Irma expenses

By Staff | Jul 31, 2019

FEMA has approved $4,581,446 for the State of Florida to help the city of Cape Coral defray the costs of debris removal for Hurricane Irma under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

FEMA funds will reimburse the city for the collection, removal and disposal of debris from within Cape Coral between Sept. 18, 2017, and March 3, 2018, following the September 2017 storm.

“These funds will reimburse the City for a portion of the costs of collection, removal, and disposal of debris following Irma,” a release from the city states. “City crews and contractors collected more than 318,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris and more than 22,000 cubic yards of construction/demolition debris following the storm.”

The city has not yet received information as to when it will release the FEMA funds.

“It may be several months before the City receives the approved funds,” the city release states. “To date, the City has received about $197,000 in reimbursements. While FEMA approved a $5.6 million reimbursement earlier this month, those funds have not been received.”

Funding for this Public Assistance project is authorized under Sections 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act for Florida to cover Hurricane Irma-related expenses, reimbursing eligible applicants for the cost of debris removal; life-saving emergency protective measures; and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities like buildings, roads and utilities.

FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program is an essential source of funding for communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management works with FEMA during all phases of the PA program and conducts final reviews of FEMA-approved projects.

Applicants work directly with FEMA to develop project worksheets and scopes of work. Following approvals by FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA obligates funding for the project.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations including some houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

The federal share for Public Assistance projects is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The state determines how the non-federal share of the cost of a project (up to 25 percent) is split with the sub-recipients like local and county governments.

Sources: FEMA, city of Cape Coral