Mayor still working to secure FEMA funding

Published 4:37 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

Bogalusa Public Works Director James Hall said work continues on repairs from the March 11 floods.

Several weeks ago, the Bogalusa Senior Center re-opened on Willis Avenue and this week Hall said the city is replacing damaged culverts.

Hall explained the reason the repairs have been so slow is that the city is still trying to get FEMA money it is owed from March. FEMA distributes the money through the state, and the state is still insisting the city owes money from Katrina-era overpayments.

“Since FEMA hasn’t paid us anything we’re paying it from our own budget, so it’s going a little slower,” Hall said of the repairs.

All that could change soon, however, as Friday Mayor Wendy Perrette and State Rep. Malinda White both went to Baton Rouge to show Gov. John Bel Edwards that the city doesn’t owe the state anything.

By press time, neither White nor Perrette could be reached for comment about the trip. However, Hall said that until the money comes, the city would continue, slowly, repairing the damage with city money.

“We still got some more to do,” he said.

This week Hall said city workers replaced culverts on Piney Branch and on Old Settlers Road, and next week he said workers would be out at the intersection of Davenport and Byrd Avenue.