State expects to dole out all Hurricane Michael Recovery Grants by year’s end
By: Staff Reports
State emergency management officials expect to dole out the entirety of the $25 million Hurricane Michael Recovery Grant Program by the end of the year, expediting rebuilding efforts in the Panhandle.
The program, the first of its kind, was created last Session to advance local governments’ recovery projects. The bill for eligible projects totaled $80 million, of which the state’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM) will select the most beneficial to receive grants.
With hurricane season falling in the state legislature’s off months, recovery funding is routinely not approved until July of the year following the need’s identification. However, Hurricane Michael, which hit the Panhandle in October 2018, struck close enough to this year’s Legislative Session that DEM officials did not know the extent of relief and recovery requests, possibly push that process to 2020.
DEM Director Jared Moskowitz praised the state legislature for establishing the grant program, saying it upped the region’s timeline for recovery.
Cities, counties, school boards and charter schools were eligible to submit project proposals by Oct. 15. Projects are limited to supplementing revenue loss, infrastructure repair or replacement, beach renourishment or debris removal.
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