The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 14, 2013

Attendees of tornado meeting say funds should be used on infrastructure

CULLMAN— Infrastructure repairs were the most common need expressed by attendees at a public meeting held today to gather input on how $49.1 million in pending federal disaster relief funds should be spent. The funds would be available to assist only those areas impacted by the April 2011 tornadoes.     

The Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs conducted the meeting at Cullman City Hall to identify the greatest needs that remain two years after the disaster. In addition to infrastructure recovery, ADECA officials said that other common requests are likely to be for housing rehabilitation and economic development projects.

More than 50 county commissioners, mayors, consultants and residents listened as ADECA officials described what might be eligible for funding and how the grant process will work.

While the timeline for the availability of the funds is still pending, ADECA’s Shabbir Olia said communities should begin outlining their projects and getting cost estimates so they can be ready to apply for a grant.

"Before you start on your project, we want you to come and talk to us about it," said Olia, manager of ADECA’s Community and Economic Development Programs Unit. He said that ADECA can't guarantee grant funds, but might find something that could help with a proposed project.

In December, Governor Robert Bentley awarded more than $15.7 million in grants for disaster recovery projects in nine communities. ADECA also secured $7.7 million in 2012 to help rebuild or renovate approximately 300 houses in 20 affected Alabama counties. 

ADECA’s Al Jones said projects not funded by the first round of disaster relief should be submitted again and, with more funding available, may have a better chance of being funded this time.

A few weeks after the storms struck the state, Gov. Robert Bentley assigned ADECA the responsibility for coordinating long-term tornado recovery efforts.

The public meeting was part of the process required to prepare a statewide action plan for the funding. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will review the state’s plan to ensure the proposed funding meets requirements.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee