Friday, March 13, 2009

Public Invited to Comment on LRA Plan


March 13, 2009


Christina Stephens
Louisiana Recovery Authority

Public Invited to Comment on Amendments to Louisiana's Action Plan for Gustav, Ike Funding

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Office of Community Development on Thursday published the first amendment to the state's action plan for spending its allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant funds set aside for recovery from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, outlining programs aimed at addressing housing and infrastructure recovery, as well as assisting the agriculture and fisheries industries and providing funds for coastal restoration.

Action Plan Amendment No. 1 includes program details for:

Coastal Communities recovery, $15 million, to be administered by the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration:
Sustainable Coastal Communities Program;
Public Facilities and Improvements;
Wetlands Restoration;
Agricultural aid, $30 million, to be administered by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry:
Louisiana Farm Recovery Loan and Grant Program;
Louisiana Agribusiness Recovery Loan Assistance Program;
Louisiana Critical Farm Infrastructure Grant Program;
Fisheries aid, $15 million, to be administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
Critical Fisheries Infrastructure Program (Mobile Ice Fleets);
Commercial Fishing Gear Program;
Sustainable Coastal Communities Program;
Recreational Fishing Access and Recovery Program.
The amendment also includes more details about housing and infrastructure programs to be administered by individual parishes.

Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting and opening "Action Plan Amendment 1 to the Action Plan for the Utilization of CDBG Funds in Response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike." A copy of the plans can be requested by calling (225) 219-9600.

The public can submit comments several ways:

Using the online form at;
Emailing them to;
Mailing them to Disaster Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 94095, 70804-9095, Attn: Paul Catrou;
Faxing them to the attention of Paul Catrou at (225) 219-9605.
To use federal CDBG funds and to amend existing disaster recovery plans, states must present action plan amendments for federal approval, following a public comment period. The LRA will address the amendment at its March 18, 2009, meeting, before forwarding it to the Legislature for approval.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced last week in New Orleans that HUD had approved Louisiana's plan for using its Gustav and Ike funding. So far, HUD has allocated $438 million to Louisiana for recovery from the 2008 storms.

Last fall, Congress set aside a $6.1 billion pool of CDBG funds for states affected by disasters in 2008. HUD has allocated the first third of the funding and will allocate the remaining funds in the coming weeks. Louisiana anticipates that it could get as much as $800 million total between the two rounds.

The state will set aside 25 percent of its total allocation for projects dealing with rental housing, agriculture and fisheries recovery and hurricane protection. The bulk of the funds will be allocated to the parishes based on their level of damage. Parishes will select from a menu of options and decide how they will spend the funds.

Created in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.



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