Sep 21, 2009 3:29 PM by sleonard

Governor Jindal Awards over $24 Million in Grants to St. Mary Parish

PATTERSON - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal awarded four grants totaling $24,331,770 to St. Mary Parish that will go towards 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 Patterson as part of his "Louisiana Working Tour." 

The four grants awarded include a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) totaling $19,461,923, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding totaling $4,734,133 and two Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) grants totaling $135,714. 

Governor Jindal said, "Folks in St. Mary Parish know firsthand the devastation caused by hurricanes and the long and frustrating recovery process that follows. That's why after Gustav and Ike, we committed to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible - and today' we're following through on that pledge by distributing these funds directly to local officials so they have flexibility to make their own rebuilding decisions." 

Upon awarding the CWEF funding the Governor said, "These grants give local governments the ability to make critical improvements to their water infrastructure systems and ensure that their citizens have access to safe and clean drinking water." 

Community Development Block Grant

The Governor said St. Mary Parish received $19,461,923 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 $4,734,133 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to support local hazard mitigation projects to protect St. Mary from future damage following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. 

Unlike HMGP funds given to Louisianaafter hurricanes Katrinaand 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.

CWEF Funding
Governor Jindal awarded two Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) grants totaling $135,714 to St. Mary Parish, including a $100,714 grant to the St. Mary Parish Government to install waterlines. 

The Town of Berwick received a $35,000 grant to replace a section of the water main. 

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.


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