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Dec. 15, 2020
DR-4335-VI/DR-4340-VI NR 183
FEMA News Desk: (340) 712-0381

$7 Million Awarded to Jump-Start Recovery Projects

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – FEMA’s Public Buildings Group continues to push recovery projects forward to strengthen the Territory’s resilience against disasters. Collaboration between the group and Public Assistance (PA) Program applicants led to $7 million awarded for projects in November.

Coordination between federal and territorial partners to repair recreational facilities damaged from hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 stands out among approved projects. The V.I. Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation was awarded $790,249 for repairs to Ezra Fredericks Ballpark on St. Thomas and $260,668 for the restoration of Pedro Cruz Ballpark on St. Croix.

Plans were approved to replace the fence, gates, retaining wall, dugouts, aluminum stands, shade covers and scoreboard at Fredericks’ baseball field. The press box is set for replacement and restoration of the cricket pitch will eventually occur at the facility in Frydenhoj.
The park’s basketball court will be repainted, and players will benefit from use of a new rim, pole and backboard as well at Fredericks.

“These projects are an important step to providing important recreational opportunities for the Territory. Working together with the USVI Office of Disaster Recovery to achieve these milestones, the FEMA team is very pleased to see one more step on the road to recovery completed,” said Acting Recovery Director John Covell.

Meanwhile, a restored fence along the first baseline and repairs to the announcer’s booth, bullpen and outfield fencing, batting cage, field lighting, scoreboard and stadium roof will improve the experience for ballplayers and fans of Cruz Ballpark in Estate Profit.

“The Territory is pleased with FEMA’s pace in obligating funds to repair parks and recreational facilities,” said Adrienne L. Williams-Octalien, Director of the Office of Disaster Recovery. “We will continue to work with FEMA to expend funds timely and correctly.”

Projects obligated on St. Thomas include:
• $315,721 awarded to the V.I. Department of Labor for building and contents damaged in the 2017 hurricanes;
• $73,292 awarded to the Judiciary of the Virgin Islands for management costs.
Projects obligated on St. Croix include:
• $231,503 for repairs to the Estate Profit Community Center in Frederiksted;
• $118,106 awarded to the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) for building and contents damaged from Hurricane Maria;
• $45,097 obligated to the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development for building and contents at five damaged buildings.
Projects obligated on St. John include:
• $207,793 awarded to DPNR for building and contents.

Public Assistance for permanent work is awarded to applicants at a 90% federal cost share in the Territory. Permanent work includes permanent restoration of damaged facilities, including cost-effective hazard mitigation to protect the facilities from future damage.
Eligible work must be required as a result of the declared incident, located in the designated area, be the legal responsibility of the applicant, and be undertaken at a reasonable cost.

Recipients of PA are responsible for managing the funds obligated to them by FEMA, including disbursement to applicants. FEMA will continue to monitor the recovery progress to ensure the timely delivery of eligible assistance and compliance with federal laws and regulations.

FEMA will continue to support the USVI with strengthening the resilience of its public buildings to better withstand disasters.

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters.