Feds earmark $2.4M for Gulfport library

Published 10:57 pm Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide about $2.4 million to help rebuild the Gulfport library, according to U.S. Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.

In all, the government allocated $5 million more for Katrina recovery efforts on the Mississippi Coast.

“This funding will enable the reconstruction of the Gulfport library, a very important public facility, and its rebuilding represents a significant step forward in this community’s recovery,” said Lott, R-Miss.

For months, Harrison County supervisors and Gulfport leaders have been discussing the future of the two-story, 43,000-square-foot library.

To rebuild it, the library, originally built in 1965, will need to be raised to meet FEMA’s advisory flood elevations and the money announced Thursday is to help cover those costs. The total amount of federal money allocated for the library is nearly $4.4 million, less any insurance payments received.

Bay St. Louis and Hancock County were also awarded $1.6 million to clear remaining storm debris from rights of way and public property.

Another $1.2 million was given to Bay St. Louis and Hancock County to demolish and remove about 350 private structures.

“Federal assistance both with the library’s reconstruction as well as debris removal remains essential to ensuring life and learning along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast remain strong despite the difficulties caused by the storm,” said Cochran, R-Miss.