Home News Local news PRESIDENT OKAYS 90/10 FUNDING FOR GEORGES

PRESIDENT OKAYS 90/10 FUNDING FOR GEORGES

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President Clinton pledged Friday that the federal government will pick up 90 percent of the cost of disaster assistance for damage caused by Hurricane Georges in 1998.
The decision increases the proportion of costs that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pick up from the standard 75 percent set out by law. The higher federal share means $1.5 million less that the V.I. government will have to provide in matching money.
Gov. Charles Turnbull said the increased federal share will apply to the Public Assistance Program (for repairing storm-damaged public infrastructure), the Individual and Family Grant Program (for direct assistance to island residents) and to the Hazard Mitigation Program (to rebuild in ways that will minimize future damage).
"The decision will help enormously as we continue to recover from yet another devastating storm," Turnbull said. "It reflects the success of my administration’s efforts to improve our relations with Washington, as well as recognition by the federal government of our efforts to get our fiscal house in order."
The administration also requested increased federal cost sharing for recovery efforts stemming from Hurricane Lenny last November. Federal authorities are reviewing the request, Turnbull said.
Meantime, the administration is asking Washington to restructure or forgive outright the debt of about $200 million owed FEMA from Hurricanes Hugo in 1989 and Marilyn in 1995. The federal government granted a one-year forbearance on all FEMA loan payments, which saved the V.I. government nearly $10 million in debt service costs in the last year.

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