Diaz-Balart Hosts Roundtables in Collier, Hendry Counties to Discuss Hurricane Recovery Efforts
NAPLES – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) today hosted roundtables in Collier and Hendry Counties to discuss hurricane recovery efforts with local officials and community leaders.
“Though many important strides have been made, Southwest Florida continues its recovery from Hurricane Irma. I was glad to invite local officials and community leaders from Collier and Hendry Counties to participate in roundtables to have candid discussions regarding hurricane recovery efforts. Moving forward, it is important to learn what worked, what could be improved for future hurricane seasons, and how the federal government can better assist our community.
“It is also important to highlight the urgent need for my Senate colleagues to approve the disaster relief package we have already passed in the House, which will go a long way in helping those still recovering. This conversation does not end today; we must continue to examine this process through its completion, and I am committed to working with our local officials to provide whatever assistance I can.”
Photos should be attributed to the Office of Congressman Diaz-Balart.
From the Collier County Roundtable:
From the Hendry County Roundtable:
Last month, the House passed an $81 billion emergency disaster relief package to assist communities affected by natural disasters, including Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bill awaits consideration in the Senate.
As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Diaz-Balart was able to secure the following for this supplemental funding:
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Provides FAA with a total of $114.6 million for facilities damaged by hurricanes in 2017, and for operational expenses.
- Federal Highway Administration-Emergency Relief Program: $1.37 billion to address infrastructure damage from the 2017 hurricane season.
- Federal Transit Administration-Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program: Provides $269 million for transit systems affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, to restore critical transit assets such as buses and shelters, ferry terminals, and rail systems stations.
- Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR): Provides $26.1 billion for CDBG-DR to meet the full commitment in this program to address unmet housing, business and infrastructure needs for communities devastated by disasters in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. $12.5 billion is allocated to address mitigation projects to help communities protect against future natural disasters, and to protect the taxpayer from recurring costs of rebuilding after storms.
Also included in the legislation are the following items that will benefit Floridians and Americans across the country and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that are still recovering from the 2017 Hurricane Season and recent wildfires in California:
- $2.6 billion for agriculture assistance to support Florida’s agriculture industry, including the citrus industry that has an estimated $760 million in damages alone.
- $2.9 billion to assist schools in Florida and elsewhere that accepted students from Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
- $12.1 billion for repairs to existing Army Corps of Engineers projects that were damaged during the storm, including those projects in Everglades National Park.
- $1.66 billion to support the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program, allowing the agency to provide up to $12.2 billion in disaster loans.
- $616 million for repairs, cleanup, and recovery at Fish and Wildlife, National Parks, US Geological Service, EPA, and Forest Service, including Everglades National Park.