Gov. Bentley Announces $15.7 Million For Tornado Disaster Relief

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News release provided by Governor Bentley's Press Office:

HACKLEBURG – Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday announced more than $15.7 million that will be awarded to nine local governments as they continue their long-term recovery from the April 2011 tornadoes.

“This funding will help make communities whole,” Governor Bentley said.  “The storms were devastating to so many areas.  But since the storms, we’ve seen a remarkable spirit of recovery.  The recovery is a long-term process, and this funding will make a tremendous difference.”

The funding will meet community-specific needs.  For example, one grant will help with downtown revitalization in Hackleburg.  Another will help with site preparation and construction to help attract a new grocery store to Cordova, which lost its only grocery store in the tornado outbreak.  In all, there are 19 funding awards among nine local governments.

The $15,751,534 in total awards is funded by a special allocation Alabama secured from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Those receiving awards and the totals are:
•    Cordova: $1,392,613
•    DeKalb County: $950,000
•    Franklin County: $125,000
•    Hackleburg: $4,788,921
•    Marion County: $300,000
•    Moulton: $375,000
•    Phil Campbell: $2,450,000
•    Tuscaloosa (city): $3,470,000
•    Tuscaloosa County – Holt Community: $1,900,000

See this detailed list that shows individual funding awards and projects in these communities.

The projects funded include infrastructure repair, demolition of damaged buildings and construction of public buildings such as fire stations.  Funding will also go toward the rebuilding of multi-family housing, including apartments and other residential complexes.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the awards, which include 16 disaster and economic development grants out of HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program and three low-interest loans.  ADECA began efforts to obtain the funding shortly after the storms struck.

“While we are very thankful for this additional federal support, we also know there are many worthwhile projects that are still seeking funding,” Governor Bentley added.  “My administration will continue to work with all affected communities to connect them with as many resources as possible.”

Earlier this year, ADECA secured $7.7 million from HUD to help rebuild or renovate approximately 300 houses in 20 affected Alabama counties.  The funds were specifically for owners or tenants who were unable to obtain repair funds from other sources.

More than 250 people were killed, and 2,200 people were injured during a two-week period in April 2011 when the state was struck by multiple tornadoes.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 6,237 houses and 1,275 mobile homes were destroyed.  In June 2011, Governor Bentley named ADECA to manage long-term recovery efforts for the state.

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