Lott, Cochran Announce $26 Million In Katrina Aid

Federal grant reimbursements totaling more than $26 million have been approved for use in several Mississippi Gulf Coast communities hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran said Thursday.

"Mississippi will continue working aggressively to secure federal support for our recovery and rebuilding effort. Our state's Congressional delegation will ensure that our nation continues seeing Hurricane Katrina as a national disaster with an impact far beyond the coast or even the coastal states," Senator Trent Lott said.

"I am encouraged that federal funding is coming to our state to repair public buildings and complete the work of debris removal. Mississippi has made tremendous progress in the last 15 months since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast," Senator Thad Cochran said.

The reimbursement package includes funds to rebuild or repair buildings damaged by the storm, and repayments for debris removal. The funds will be dispersed through FEMA.

Gulfport will receive more than a million dollars to repair public buildings like the Gaston Hewes Recreation Center.

More than one million dollars will also go to repair buildings in the Bay-Waveland School District. The Second Street Elementary School building, built in 1923, will undergo an extensive renovation.

The Mississippi State Port Authority will get more than $1.5 million for work to restore their facility.

And almost $20 million will go to Catholic Charities Housing Association of Biloxi to restore the Santa Maria de la Mer, a 13 story, 209 unit low income apartment complex for the elderly.

Jackson County and the city of Biloxi will each receive more than a million dollars each for debris removal work completed earlier this year.