FRANKFORT, KY (3/7/12) - In light of the damage caused by Friday’s devastating storms, state Rep. Steve Riggs is asking the Department for Local Government to increase the funding it provides each year for storm cleanup and streamline the application process.
“This is a common-sense move that would go a long way to helping the affected communities get back on their feet,” said Rep. Riggs, who chairs the House Local Government Committee. “The program is already in place; we just need to act as fast as we can to boost funding. This is no time for red tape to get in the way.”
The Community Emergency Relief Funds (CERF) program helps communities restore infrastructure or housing that is damaged in severe weather or other natural disasters. It is one of a half-dozen programs that channel Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which are administered by the state but paid for by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kentucky is receiving about $22.3 million this year in CDBG money, of which $343,000 is currently set aside to help communities through CERF.
“The Department for Local Government has some leeway to move money where it is needed within community development block grants, and I cannot think of a more pressing need than now, as residents from West Liberty, East Bernstadt, Kenton County and elsewhere across the Commonwealth begin putting their lives back together,” said Rep. Riggs, D-Jeffersontown. “I am also asking the agency to consider reducing its three percent administrative fee and put the savings back in CERF. We need every dollar possible to go back into the state.”
Information provided by Brian Wilkerson
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