Hurricane Disaster Relief Attached To Military Construction Bill
Washington, D.C. Congressman Sanford Bishop, a member of the appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, announced that the House approved by a vote of 374 to 0 the Military Construction Appropriations spending bill (HR 4837), which in addition to containing more than $282 million in projects for the state of Georgia also included $11.6 billion dollars in emergency funding to address the devastation caused by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
“The military construction spending bill provided an important opportunity to pass much needed funding for disaster relief. This represents a major victory for military facilities in the state of Georgia. Moreover, it represents a victory for the families, farmers and businesses that have been overwhelmed in recent weeks by mother nature,” said Congressman Sanford Bishop.
The package specifically provides $2.9 billion in emergency assistance for agricultural producers experiencing crop loss caused by natural disasters, including by hurricanes, drought and other natural disasters. Preliminary estimates of crop losses in the state of Georgia top $400 million due to hurricanes Charley and Frances alone.
“The emergency funding will unfortunately not make up for all of the devastation that the hurricanes have caused, but it will go a long way towards recovering losses and protecting the future of our family farms, businesses and others that have been hit hardest by these storms,” said Congressman Bishop. “This bill makes important progress for South Georgians. We secured funding for the much needed Kelly Hill/Main Post Barracks facility at Fort Benning, where we also funded a physical fitness training center, a hazardous cargo loading apron and improvements to the Ranger barrack’s facility. And while funding for the base support center at Moody Air Force Base was not included in the President’s budget funding request, working with my colleagues on the Subcommittee, we were able to add an addition $9.6 million for this critical project.”
The Military Construction Conference Report passed the House of Representatives. It will now go to the full Senate for passage and then be sent to President Bush for his signature and enactment into law. Additional details for the Emergency Disaster package and Georgia Military Construction projects included in the FY’05 spending bill are attached below:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—The bill provides $6.5 billion for disaster recovery efforts of FEMA in addition to the $2 billion which was appropriated to the agency early this month. FEMA uses these resources for a variety of disaster relief activities including direct assistance to impacted individuals and families, paying for debris removal and utility and infrastructure repairs and emergency food and shelter and to mitigate future damage to public and private property.
Defense damage and recovery--$1.1 billion for the Department of Defense for costs associated with the evacuation, base preparation, base recovery and damage to structure and equipment at various military facilities including the Pensacola Air Station.
Small Business Association Disaster Relief loans—The disaster relief activities of the Small Business Administration are funded at $929 million. This funding level will leverage $5.5 billion in low interest loans to individuals and businesses.
Highway and Infrastructure Repairs--$1.2 billion for the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program for emergency repairs to eligible highways and roads affected by Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne and Gaston. Also includes $30 million for repairs for airports and aviation facilities.
National Parks and Wildlife Refuges—Provides $206 million to repair facilities, trails and clear debris from damaged National Parks, forests and wildlife refuges based on the most recent estimates from federal agencies.
Beach Replenishment and Dredging—Includes $362 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to restore navigation channels, repair and rehabilitate coastal areas, beach renourishment and address other projects in affected areas.
Economic Development—Provides $150 million for Community Development Grants for emergency expenses to help replace damaged homes, including replacement of destroyed farm labor housing and housing for other low-income persons, properties and businesses and for economic redevelopment projects.
Health Services--$50 million for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to provide nutritional, medical and social services to affected elderly individuals and assist community health centers in the impacted areas.
NASA--$126 million, including: $89 million for repairs for buildings and communications systems at Kennedy Space Center; $23 million for repair of equipment exposed to the weather; and $14 million to provide temporary workspaces for displaced employees.
Veterans Affairs—Provides $121 million to repair damage to Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
Coast Guard—Provides $33 million to reflect the most current damage estimates to Coast Guard facilities.
International Assistance—Provides $!00 million for disaster and famine assistance funds to mitigate the damage from Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne in Grenada, Jamaica, Haiti and other nations.
American Red Cross receives $70 million for their mission to shelter, feed and otherwise support victims of the recent natural disasters in Florida and other affected areas.
Georgia projects included in the House FY’05 Military Construction Appropriations Bill:
Barracks Complex – Kelly Hill/Main Post $49,565,000
Hazardous Cargo Loading Apron $3,850,000
Physical Fitness Training Center $18,362,000
Revitalize Ranger Barracks $1,850,000
Receptee Barracks $2,250,000
Consolidated Health Clinic $7,100,000
Recruiting Brigade Operations Building $5,800,000
Child Development Center $4,900,000
Aircraft Maintenance Hanger (SOF) $21,000,000
Barracks Complex – 5th & 16th PH2 $32,950,000
Command and Control Facility $24,695,000
Tactical Equipment Complex $10,000,000
SOF Battalion Operations Complex $17,600,000
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
Army Aviation Support Facility $16,554,000
Enclave Fencing and Parking $16,000,000
Aircraft Ramp $15,000,000
Fire/crash Rescue $6,570,000
Base Support Center $9,600,000
Maintenance Facility $10,000,000