Oct 09 2004

SHELBY ANNOUNCES HOUSE AND SENATE AGREEMENT ON DISASTER RELIEF AID

Funding Package Provides Millions for Alabama

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a key negotiator on the Emergency Supplemental appropriations package and Chairman of the Transportation, Treasury, and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, announced emergency funding for Alabama as a result of Hurricane Ivan. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Shelby was intricately involved in the development of the aid package, which will provide critical funding for Hurricane ravaged areas of the United States. These funds were included in the Military Construction Appropriations Bill. The bill is expected to come before the Senate today for approval. The President is expected to sign this legislation upon its arrival on his desk.

“Alabama experienced tremendous damage from Hurricane Ivan, and these funds are much needed to continue the rebuilding process,” Senator Shelby said. “I am pleased that we are taking action to provide emergency funding to address the needs of the states, the communities, and the people that have been impacted by the devastating forces of the four hurricanes.”

Emergency Relief Highway Program

The bill includes $1.2 billion in supplemental funding for the repair or reconstruction of roads in Alabama and other states that were damaged by the hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. This additional funding will give the Alabama Department of Transportation the resources it needs to begin to repair the extraordinary damage to our roads caused by Hurricane Ivan.

The emergency relief highway program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of highways and roads which have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters or catastrophes. This program supplements the commitment of resources by States, their political subdivisions, or other Federal agencies to help pay for unusually heavy expenses resulting from extraordinary conditions.

Airport Repairs/Rehabilitation

The bill provides $25 million for the Federal Aviation Administration to make grants available to airports to cover repairs or replacement costs for public-use facilities, such as aircraft hangers and airport terminals, that were damaged in the recent storms that struck in the Gulf of Mexico region.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) equipment funding

The bill also provides $5.1 million to repair and replace air traffic control facilities and equipment that were damaged by the recent hurricanes. This funding is necessary to allow affected airports to return to a safe and efficient level of operations. The funding will support projects at Montgomery Regional Airport - Dannelly Field, Mobile Regional Airport, Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores, Monroeville Airport, Dothan Regional Airport, Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport, and Thomas C. Russell Field in Alexander City.

FEMA

  • $6.5 billion has been included for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse hurricane affected states and counties for costs related to the clean-up required as a result of these storms.


USDA Rural Development

 

  • $25 million has been included for rural housing assistance grants and housing repair loans.

     

  • $68 million has been included for the Rural Community Advancement Program, of which $50 will be available for water and waste disposal grants.

Individuals and localities interested in assistance should contact their local rural development office.

Agriculture Funding

 

  • $8.5 million for the pecan industry in Alabama and Georgia to cover costs with pruning, rehabilitation and replanting and other appropriate activities as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

     

  • $10 million for private forest landowners in declared disaster areas for debris removal, reseeding and replanting and other appropriate activities as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

     

  • $150 million has been included in the Emergency Conservation Program for expenses resulting from natural disasters.

Individuals interested in learning how they can benefit from these programs should contact their local Farm Services Agency office.

Small Business Administration

 

  • $929 million has been included for the Small Business Administration in response to the recent hurricanes. Of these funds $501 million will be provided for disaster loan programs.


Oysters

 

  • $9 million has been approved for oyster bed reseeding and rehabilitation for the Gulf Coast.

Army Corps of Engineers

 

  • $62.6 million has been approved for the repair of damaged construction to authorized shore protection projects as a result of recent hurricanes.

     

  • $145 million has been approved for emergency expenses for the repair of storm damaged projects where construction is complete.

     

  • $148 million has been approved for flood control and coastal emergencies, which includes emergency expenses for repairs to damaged flood control and hurricane shore protection projects. This funding will also allow the Army Corps of Engineers to put temporary measures in place in response to hurricane damage until solutions are determined, and will provide funding to mitigate damage from future hurricanes.