Puerto Rico receives $800 million for infrastructure
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia participated in the signing of two agreements Monday between the Housing Department and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) as well as with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). With a joint investment that exceeds $800 million from mitigation funds, both agreements seek to strengthen critical infrastructure and guarantee the well-being of the population in different regions of the island.
“Our administration is maximizing the use of federal mitigation funds … to carry out public works that impact the quality of life of our people while preventing future damage in the event of hurricanes, earthquakes, or some other type of emergency,” the governor said. “The first agreement is between the Housing Department and PREPA and is related to the seismic renovation of the Patillas Dam. The Department of Housing has set aside $558 million of CDBG-MIT funds to cover all matching required for FEMA mitigation projects. The improvements to the Patillas Dam will be carried out in two phases over seven years.”
The governor added that the project will improve strategic infrastructure that serves some 100,000 citizens.
“The Department of Housing is also signing an agreement with the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority to support the Water Supply Improvement Project -- Bauta Southern Region,” Pierluisi said. “This project impacts the towns of Villalba, Juana Díaz, Ponce, and Coamo, which receive their drinking water supply from both groundwater wells and surface sources. Additionally, the expansion of the Toa Vaca Treatment Plant or the construction of a new water treatment plant in that area, as well as new pipelines for the areas currently served by groundwater wells, are under study.”
Island Housing Secretary William Rodríguez Rodríguez noted that “these two important agreements with PRASA and PREPA address two instances of utmost importance for a large sector of our citizens.”
“The mitigation funds that are being allocated for these projects, specifically, come to address situations that may occur in the future and thus mitigate damage,” he said. “At the same time, we are turning our island into a more resilient one. Under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program we will continue to attend to other important projects that we will soon announce.”