Monday, January 12, 2009

Katrina Recovery

From the Clarion Ledger dot com:

After a hurricane, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again is no simple task.
But now that federal relief funds are beginning to flow, Hancock County has a long list of recovery projects already under way, in the application process, or on the drawing board.

It all stems from damages done by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

It has taken us a while to get to this point, county Supervisor Steve Seymour said. "But knowing how the wheels of government move, it's a slow process."
Most of the recovery projects are being paid with federal money. That means county officials have had to deal with multiple federal and state agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Mississippi Development Authority.

Then, supervisors have waded through requirements for each project, including environmental assessments and screening and hiring architects, engineers and construction firms.
Recently, supervisors reviewed an updated list of projects and their status. Some are in the funding application process, while others are awaiting environmental review. The projects range from the courthouse and jail to a new fire station, a county government complex, community centers and a series of hurricane shelters to be built above I-10.

One major project, a $4.8 million reconstruction and addition at the historic courthouse on Main Street in Bay St. Louis, is well under way and scheduled for completion in April. And a project to build a new county government building in Bay St. Louis is awaiting a wetlands delineation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Officials are hoping to break ground for the 28,548-square-foot complex early in the year.
Supervisors acknowledge it seems like forever since Katrina came and went, taking so much with her. But they think the county is turning a major corner now.

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