FEMA Sets Aside $4.2B So Far for La. Infrastructure

Fri July 10, 2009 - Southeast Edition
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has set aside $4.2 billion for permanent infrastructure work in the state following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The agency said $1.6 billion of that has made its way through the state and to the local level.

Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, said the state has been paying invoices submitted by parishes within days. She attributed the difference between the FEMA set aside and amount paid through the state to the sheer volume of construction planned or under way and to funding disputes with FEMA.

In all, FEMA has obligated $7.8 billion in so-called “public assistance’’ dollars, with $3.4 billion of that for temporary measures or emergency work.

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