County’s FEMA loan forgiven

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors has officially been relieved of a $4.6 million Hurricane Katrina loan from FEMA, said Board President J. Patrick Lee.

Lee said the loan has been hanging over the board’s heads since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and that the forgiveness lifts “a tremendous load off our minds.”

The Special Community Disaster Loan was awarded to the county after Hurricane Katrina to allow continued funding of the county’s day-to-day operations, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin.

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The county had some complications with records in the loan forgiveness process due to increased revenue after the storm.

The county had to provide paperwork that showed the increased revenue wasn’t a normal part of their operations previous to the storm.

“I’m glad we were able to get the information that was sufficient to get the loan forgiven,” Lumpkin said.

“We are very grateful to Senator (Thad) Cochran and his staff for making this happen,” Lee said.

Lee said getting this loan forgiven demonstrates the benefits of he and Mayor Ed Pinero taking networking trips to the nation’s capital.

“It’s one more reason why it proves beneficial for making those Washington D.C. trips and that is a direct result of those trips,” Lee said.

Due to the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, eligibility criteria for counties and municipalities changed. The changes allowed loan recipients who had previously been deemed ineligible for forgiveness to resubmit their application.

“It’ll be beneficial in the long term now that it has been forgiven,” Lumpkin said.