ST. MARTINVILLE, LA – September 16, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal awarded five grants totaling $7,259,604 to St. Martin Parish that will go toward hurricane recovery, hazard mitigation and infrastructure improvements. Governor Jindal awarded the funds to local officials in a ceremonial check presentation during a townhall meeting in St. Martinville as part of his “Louisiana Working Tour.”
The five grants awarded include a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) totaling $5,312,648, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding totaling $1,811,242 and three Community Water Enrichment Fund grants totaling $135,714.
Governor Jindal said, “After Gustav and Ike, folks in St. Martin Parish experienced serious hardships and we committed to do everything in our power to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible. That’s why we decided to the cut through the red tape and not create another Road Home program. Instead, we’re giving these funds directly to folks on the ground because they know best how to rebuild their communities and get prepared for future storms.”
Upon awarding the CWEF funding Governor Jindal said, “Awarded through a competitive process, CWEF funding helps local governments improve and maintain water infrastructure that our citizens depend on.”
Community Development Block Grant
The Governor said St. Martin Parish received $5,312,648 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to aid the recovery efforts from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which caused widespread housing and infrastructure damage last year.
Damage levels were determined for each parish based on HUD analysis of FEMA damage assessments. To use federal CDBG funds, states must present action plans for federal approval. HUD already approved Louisiana’s first action plan for using these funds.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Governor Jindal said the parish received $1,811,242 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to support local hazard mitigation projects to protect St. Martin from future damage following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
Unlike HMGP funds given to Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, this HMGP funding comes with a requirement for local and state governments to pay matching costs, meaning the federal government pays 75 percent of the costs, with local or state government required to pay for 25 percent of the cost of the projects. Louisiana has repeatedly requested that federal government waive or lower the state and local match requirement, given the scope of the destruction wrought by four storms in three years.
Governor Jindal awarded three Community Water Enrichment Fund grants totaling $135,714 to St. Martin Parish, including a $60,714 grant to the parish to replace the liquid solution system for the water treatment plant.
The City of Breaux Bridge received a $50,000 grant to repair an existing water pump and install a new water pump. Finally, the Village of Parks received a $25,000 grant to install six isolation valves within the water system.
The Community Water Enrichment Fund was established in the 2008 Louisiana regular legislative session to ensure safe and clean drinking water. The CWEF aids units of local government solely for the purpose of rehabilitation, improvement, and construction projects for community water systems.