St. Luke AME Church in Malone and the Town of Grand Ridge are two of the entities receiving a share of a recent FEMA public assistance grant for expenses related to Hurricane Michael. A total of roughly $1.25 million was spread among a number of recipients in the recent grant round announced this week by FEMA, the money awarded to the state for distribution to the various entities.

St. Luke e got $7,044 as reimbursement for emergency protective measures taken by the church. The town of Grand Ridge received $9,024 for repairs to town hall/volunteer fire department, community center and the town’s wastewater treatment plant building.

The other awards announced in the press release include: Agency for Health Care Administration – $2,100 for management costs; Bayside Church in Panama City – $272,586 for emergency protective measures; City of Bonifay – $65,701 for debris removal ; City of Port St. Joe – $71,060 for repairs to Centennial Building and its components, restrooms, cook shed and pavilion and repairs to the Washington Gymnasium, athletic complex and grounds; Florida A&M University – $65,256 for emergency protective measures; Florida Department of Environmental Protection – $74,289 for emergency protective measures; First Church of Nazarene in Panama City – $29,528 for emergency protective measures; Gulf County – $10,722 for replacement of IT switches in public buildings countywide; Holy Nativity Episcopal School in Panama City – $593,703 for emergency protective measures; Panama City Fellowship Church of Praise – $3,750 for debris removal ; Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office – $7,368 for management costs; and Walton County – $47,015 for emergency protective measures.

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

Once a project is obligated by FEMA, FDEM works closely with the applicant to finalize the grant and begin making payments. FDEM has implemented new procedures designed to ensure grant funding is provided to local communities as quickly as possible, according to the FEMA press release announcing the awards.

FEMA has numerous other projects that have been identified under the Public Assistance program for Hurricane Michael and is working extensively with all applicants. The timeline for other projects being obligated depends on the complexity of the projects, collection of supporting documentation by the applicants, environmental and historical laws, regulations and other concerns.

Applicants provide FEMA with documentation to support damage claims. Following approvals by FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA obligates funding for the project.

To date, FEMA has obligated a total of more than $169.3 million in federal funding for Public Assistance projects related to Hurricane Michael in Florida.

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