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December 30, 09

NEWS / Federal Dollars Continue To Flow Into New Orleans Regional Transit Authority Facilities

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) recently announced more than $10.8 million in public assistance funding to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for Katrina-related damages at two of its New Orleans facilities.

Of the recent funding, nearly $9.2 million was provided as a consolidated grant for the RTA’s Desire Parkway facility. This funding combines more than 20 grants into one, enabling the RTA to more quickly access recovery funds.

“By allowing funds to be consolidated, FEMA is helping the Transit Authority to more quickly provide bus and street car services to the citizens of New Orleans,” said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. “The collaboration that has existed between federal, state and local officials in the new administration has been a great boom for New Orleans and all storm-affected areas.”

The remaining $1.6 million obligated represents new funding for necessary repair work on the 2nd and 3rd floors at the Transit Authority’s Randolph Building on Canal Street.

“Both the Desire Parkway and Canal Street facilities support the daily operations of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Interim Director Mark Landry. “Their restoration is crucial because they enable this city’s public transit system to function and provide services to the residents of this community.”

Pre-Katrina, the Desire Parkway facility consisted of maintenance and administration buildings, as well as bus and framework washes, a fueling center and essential maintenance equipment such as 13 rotary bus lifts and five light duty automobile lifts. Flood damages resulted in the need for extensive repair work.

Like the Desire Parkway facility, RTA’s Canal Street Facility also succumbed to the disastrous affects of Hurricane Katrina with flood waters engulfing its first floor and wind-driven rain damaging upper floors. The new funding recently obligated accounts for damages on the 2nd and 3rd floors, which after mold abatement work is finished, will house the RTA’s corporate administration offices.

Through partnership with the LRA, to date FEMA has obligated approximately $121 million to the RTA to support their recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.

When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are transferred to a federal Smartlink account. Once the funds have reached this account, the applicant can request reimbursement from GOHSEP 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.

Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the GOHSEP and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.




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