$18M available in Katrina recovery fund

Published 3:26 pm Thursday, September 28, 2006

$18M available in Katrina recovery fund

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The board of the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund has announced $18 million in grants to organizations in George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River and Stone counties.

The fund, established by Gov. Haley Barbour soon after Katrina slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast, has received more than $18 million from more than 8,500 contributors worldwide. It has benefited from the “Mississippi Rising” concert held in Oxford, and other fundraising events. The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, led by the two former presidents, also has pledged $12.4 million to the Mississippi fund.

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“My intention in creating this special fund was to attract private moneys to help victims of the hurricane with recovery costs that exceeded coverage from other sources, such as insurance, government grants, and immediate relief programs,” Barbour said in a statement. “Due to the generosity of people and companies from all around the world, the fund’s outstanding board of directors has allocated this $18 million to help individuals with needs unmet by federal funds.”

Board Chairman Richard Hickson said that as soon as the county committees complete the details of their requested projects, the fund will begin meeting its commitments.

“The board will monitor the spending of these funds to ensure accountability and that project dollars are used to close the gap in unmet needs,” Hickson said. “The board is ever mindful that we are the trustees of our contributors, a responsibility that we do not take lightly.”

Projects approved to receive Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund grants include:

— Disaster Recovery Services of George County — $1.2 million for a Regional Resource Center to be located in Lucedale.

— Hancock County Long-Term Recovery Committee, Harrison County Long-Term Recovery Coalition, and Rebuild Jackson County — $15 million, which the agencies will share for individual housing assistance.

— Pearl River County Hope Committee — $650,000 for a Regional Resource and Senior Center in Picayune.

— Stone County Long-Term Recovery Committee — $200,000 to fund housing-repair projects.

— Nonprofit organizations in Harrison and Hancock counties — $400,000 and $600,000, respectively, through each county’s Long-Term Recovery Committee, to supplement other nonprofit money to build community resource centers in DeLisle and Pearlington.