Towns to receive $1 million each for costs related to Fiona response
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi
By THE STAR STAFF
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia has signed into law House Joint Resolution 387 authorizing the transfer of $78 million, or $1 million per town, from the Emergency Reserve to the island’s municipalities.
The funding, approved last week, is intended to cover expenses related to the response and recovery from Hurricane Fiona.
“In these two years of governance, my commitment has been demonstrated and evidenced with direct support to each municipality,” Pierluisi said. “I have always said that mayors are the first line of support for our people, and that is why they will always count on me, even more so in emergencies. As governor, I will continue to work together with mayors and federal agencies to ensure that the work and the reconstruction projects continue to be developed and executed throughout the island.”
The bipartisan measure was unanimously approved by the Mayors Federation and the Mayors Association.
After the passage of Hurricane Fiona, Pierluisi requested and succeeded in having President Biden sign a Declaration of Emergency and later a Declaration of Major Disaster, in which all municipalities were included.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also provided individual and public assistance, as well as disaster risk mitigation throughout the island. FEMA announced recently that it had provided $670.5 million in federal support to the island after the passage of Fiona last September.
Meanwhile, the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience disbursed $691,671 last week, as part of emergency protection measures, to the municipalities of Jayuya, Cabo Rojo and Maricao. Also, a few months ago the Department of Economic Development and Commerce designated $15 million, including $10 million that the governor identified, to help small and midsize enterprises impacted by the hurricane.
It was not the first time that Pierluisi has facilitated the distribution of millions of dollars among the island’s municipalities. In February 2021, he authorized the distribution of $100 million in federal funds among the 78 towns so that they could offer necessary services related to COVID-19 to citizens.