PNJ misses FEMA clarifications


Both Santa Rosa & Escambia counties issued clarifications on FEMA reimbursements. The PNJ story has misleading headlines based on the original press release by Sen. Martinez

PNJ: “$12.1 million for Escambia; Santa Rosa to get $8.9 million”

It’s not until you read the article that you realize $9.1 million of Escambia’s funds actually goes to the state. Santa Rosa County government only gets $3.3 million.

This is a very hard article to understand and is misleading. Maybe they should have let one more writer help with the story.

Read (if you skim it, you won’t get it): Counties get FEMA windfall

Here is Santa Rosa Co. press release:

FEMA Assistance Clarification

Senator Mel Martinez issued a press release on June 4 announcing that Florida would receive $386 million in additional funding for the 2005 hurricane season from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA Florida Long-Term Recovery Office, which included $8,965,370.26 for Santa Rosa County. The approximately $8.9 million will be distributed to multiple agencies including an estimated $3.3 million reimbursement to the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners. The reminder of the refund will benefit the county school board, the municipalities and state for FEMA expenses.

The additional FEMA funding noted in the Senator Martinez press release includes, but is not limited to, 100 percent FEMA funding of all Hurricane Dennis public assistance projects. Examples of public assistance projects are debris removal, roadway repair, and building, park, and facility repair. Upon receipt of these funds, Santa Rosa County will reimburse the Electric Franchise Fee revenue account, which provided the funding for the original expenditures.

From Escambia County:
FEMA Hurricane Assistance Clarification

A news release from Senator Mel Martinez issued on Monday, June 4 stated that Florida will be receiving an additional $386 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA Florida Long-Term Recovery Office to reimburse Florida counties for the expenses incurred during the 2005 hurricane season. Of the approximately $12 million, Escambia County’s share of the additional FEMA funds is an estimated $1.8 million.

The remainder of the refund will go to other agencies such as the Sheriff’s Office, Santa Rosa Island Authority, the City of Pensacola, and the State of Florida. The funds are based on the amount of their approved FEMA projects during Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina and other costs connected to aid for serious disaster-related needs.