Rep. John L. Mica (FL-07) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today approved $4.379 million in funding to the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences to rebuild their west wing following flood damage from 2009. To make this funding possible, Congressman Mica worked to change outdated and costly national law and FEMA policy.
"After visiting several disaster areas across the county, it was clear to me the federal rules were wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars," said Congressman Mica. "I saw first-hand how bureaucratic red tape forced people to repair buildings in the flood plain over and over again, instead of rebuilding at a higher elevation or in a safer location. I changed the law to allow people to rebuild out of harm's way and reduce future disaster payments. It was an added benefit that it helped the flood prone Museum of Arts & Sciences."
Smarter federal funding was made possible following a provision included by Rep. Mica in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization earlier this year. After a detailed cost-benefit analysis, FEMA determined rebuilding at a higher elevation and out of the flood plain will save more money in federal flood insurance claims than repairing the museum after every flood.
"The purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of repetitive flood losses to the federal program by rebuilding smarter following multiple disasters," continued Mica. "The rebuilding of the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences, where flooding has occurred at least twice, is a prime example of how government can get a better return on its investments."
The financial support is provided through the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and funded entirely through the premiums paid by insured properties, such as the museum's.
"The Museum of Arts & Sciences, with its strong local support, is a great resource for kids and families," concluded Congressman Mica. "I am pleased the revised FEMA policy will allow the museum to continue and expand its service to the community."