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CUOMO SAYS NORTH DAKOTA COMMUNITIES GET $201.3 MILLION IN GRANTS UNDER NEW HUD DISASTER RECOVERY INITIATIVEGRAND FORKS, ND -- Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today that communities in North Dakota will receive a total of $201.3 million in grants from the new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Disaster Recovery Initiative.
Cuomo announced the aid on a visit to Grand Forks -- the area hit hardest by severe winter storms and massive spring flooding. He spoke in downtown Grand Forks in front of the Grand Forks Herald Building, which was destroyed by a fire during the flooding.
The $201.3 million includes previously announced HUD grants of $50 million to Grand Forks, $3.5 million to Fargo, and $1.5 million to North Dakota for other parts of the state. The grants were authorized under legislation signed by President Clinton in June.
"North Dakotans have set an example of courage and community spirit that has inspired all Americans," Cuomo said. "President Clinton saw your strength when he came here, I saw it when I accompanied him, and our nation saw it on TV screens every day during your hardest times. I've come here again because we want every disaster victim in this state to know that as you struggle to rebuild your homes, your businesses and your lives, you are not alone. All Americans stand with you, and all of us want to see the terrible wounds you have suffered healed."
The $201,263,122 in disaster relief grants are going to:
The state will distribute its grant to smaller communities that suffered disaster damage.
Funds under the new HUD Disaster Recovery Initiative can be used for long-term recovery efforts, property buyouts, relocations and efforts to prevent future flood damage. The program will give communities great flexibility in meeting local needs quickly.
Communities can use HUD funds for: rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings; acquisition, construction or reconstruction of public facilities and improvements, including streets, neighborhood centers, and water and sewer facilities; homeownership assistance, including downpayment assistance and interest rate subsides; building new replacement housing; code enforcement; and assistance to businesses for carrying out economic development activities for job creation and retention.
The HUD assistance will supplement aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies.
Senator Kent Conrad said: "We fought long and hard to get this money for North Dakota, and we prevailed because our need was so overwhelming and so compelling. I thank Secretary Cuomo for delivering today on President Clinton's pledge to come to our aid."
Senator Byron Dorgan said: "This announcement is great news for North Dakota. Our citizens were hard-hit by blizzards and floods, and this money is urgently needed for our region's recovery. My hat is off to Secretary Cuomo, the President and my colleagues in the Congress for making this happen."
Congressman Earl Pomeroy said: "This critical assistance fills in more pieces of the puzzle. We can now move ahead with the next round of home buyouts and in meeting the needs of hundreds of families affected by this disaster so they can get on with their lives."
Grand Forks Mayor Pat Owens said: "Rebuilding Grand Forks is an enormous challenge. Federal assistance will play a crucial role in helping us succeed in getting the job done."
Content Archived: January 20, 2009