Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PEMA, DCED Release Funds For Projects To Reduce Flooding, Sinkhole Impacts

The PA Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Community and Economic Development Tuesday announced the award of grants to six communities to acquire homes in order to avoid future losses from events such as flooding or sinkholes.
The grants include—
-- Columbia County: Scott Township $947,007 15 households
-- Dauphin County: CDBG-DR City of Harrisburg  $2,579,099 28 households
-- Dauphin County: PDM City of Harrisburg #1 $600,000. This is CDBG-DR money to satisfy the local share required by the previously awarded 2015 FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant of $1.65 million. 25 households
-- Lebanon County: South Lebanon Township $195,000  1 household
-- Luzerne County: Plymouth Township $2,500,000 23 households
-- Wyoming County: Wyoming $2,453,000 14 households
“These grants provide communities with the opportunity to remove people and structures from harm’s way in high-hazard areas, without having to pay for it entirely on their own,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. “We are happy to work with our state and federal partners to work on behalf of the impacted citizens of the Commonwealth.”
The homes in the projects listed below were selected by grant-eligible communities. PEMA and DCED assisted in the application development process.
A total of 106 homeowners will have the opportunity to participate in the buyout program using up to $8.3 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funding through DCED.
It is important to note that homeowners may at any time voluntarily decline to participate in the program, and the numbers below may fluctuate as a result.
“Ensuring that businesses and communities have opportunities to succeed and thrive is key to DCED’s work,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “By contributing to these efforts we are aiding the movement of individuals away from potential harm – both physical and financial. In doing so, we are also contributing to the overall, shared economic well-being of the Commonwealth.”
PEMA will administer these funds directly with the municipal grant recipients. PEMA received 16 applications totaling more than $16 million in requests that were reviewed by the State Application Review Team.
The scoring criteria included but was not limited to: projects benefiting a low and moderate income neighborhood; projects must be located in one of the five hardest-hit counties during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; eligible municipalities must be in good standing as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Program; and eligible municipality must prove the capability to meet all requirements to complete the projects in a timely manner.
PEMA staff will continue to work with DCED personnel to ensure an expedited process to move homeowners and tenants out of these high risk areas using these awarded funds and to restore the floodplain to its natural state and ensure the safety of those near areas vulnerable to sinkholes.

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