Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded two grants totaling $3,150,000 for two separate safe/community centers to be built in two different locations in the City of La Feria.
"Any of our residents and local leaders who have been through hurricanes or severe weather in the Rio Grande Valley know all too well how important it is to find a safe shelter and I am very pleased to that FEMA chose to build these shelters in La Feria," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa.
Cameron County and the City of La Feria are to be involved in the building of two concrete domed structures in accordance with FEMA's regulations. Each will serve as a disaster shelter for residents and will include a safe room for residents with special needs and medical special needs. The structures are to be hurricane and tornado safe rooms in case of a disaster and they will also serve as multi-purpose community centers.
Congressman Hinojosa added, "I want to congratulate Mayor Steve Brewer, City Manager Sunny Philip and all of the local leaders who worked so hard to make both of these shelters a reality,"
One safe room will be built at 1700 Main Street in La Feria. It will be 20,000 square feet with interior usable space of 15,863 square feet at a cost of $2,400,000 of which FEMA will fund $1,800,000.
The second structure will be constructed at 1001 Pancho Maples Drive in La Feria. This safe room will be 15,000 square feet with interior usable space of 11,863 square feet at a cost of $2, 400,000 of which FEMA will fund $1,800,000.
The remainder of the cost for both structures will be paid for by the City of La Feria.
La Feria City Manager Sunny Philip said the funds were already in the bank.
"Construction should begin in six months and we have two years to complete them," he said. "This is great news because we will have a facility that we will build from the ground up that will be able to accommodate people with special medical needs. We will have the proper facilities necessary to keep them safe. The buildings will all be handicap accessible and will have backup generators to keep everyone safe and comfortable."
Currently, the City of La Feria uses the La Feria High School gymnasium as an emergency shelter.