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Perry: FEMA Agrees to Reimburse Texas at Same Rate as Louisiana for Hurricanes

Location: Austin, TX

Perry: FEMA Agrees to Reimburse Texas at Same Rate as Louisiana for Hurricanes

HUD Also Announces $428.6 Million in Additional Aid to Texas

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry announced today that federal officials have granted his request that Texas receive equal treatment for costs of debris removal and damage to public infrastructure resulting from last year's hurricanes.

"This is welcome news for Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Rita, often considered the ‘Forgotten Hurricane,'" Perry said. "This federal assistance will help a lot of East Texas communities that still struggle to recover from the storm's devastation."

Gov. Perry received a letter from FEMA director R. David Paulison assuring him that Texas will receive the same level of reimbursement for removal of debris left by Hurricane Rita as Louisiana has received. This also applies to reimbursement for damages to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water treatment facilities, publicly-owned utilities and public buildings.

FEMA's decision came on the heels of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement that Texas will receive $428.6 million in additional CDBG funds from the most recent supplemental federal budget signed in June.

In general, CDBG funds can be used for such things as housing, job training, economic redevelopment and infrastructure.

"These additional CDBG funds will also help Texans recover from the effects of the 2005 hurricane season," Perry said. "I appreciate the hard work of Commissioner Michael Williams, whom I appointed to head Texas efforts to secure federal assistance, other members of his team and the Texas Congressional delegation who fought hard to secure additional help for those who lost their homes and businesses."

FEMA's Paulison informed Perry today that all costs to jurisdictions in 29 Texas counties for removing storm debris, plus costs of emergency protective measures taken before, during and after a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety and protect public and private property, will be reimbursed at 100 percent for total eligible costs through June 30, 2006. Effective July 1, 2006, federal reimbursement is authorized at 90 percent of total eligible costs.

Hurricane Rita struck the Texas coast near Sabine Pass as a Category 3 storm on Sept. 24, 2005, affecting more than 85,000 square miles of Texas and Louisiana. The day after the storm hit Texas, Perry contacted federal officials and urged them to provide the same level of federal assistance for hurricane damage to Texas as they provided for Hurricane Katrina.

Paulison's letter to Perry said that "the States of Texas and Louisiana, declared major disasters on Sept. 24, 2005, as a result of Hurricane Rita, must be treated equally for purposes of cost-share adjustments."

Reimbursement for repairs for Hurricane Rita damage to roads and bridges, water systems, public buildings, utilities, parks and recreation facilities are reimbursed at 90 percent of total eligible costs.

The decision affects 29 counties including: Angelina, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Marion, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler and Walker.

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