More disaster relief funding is being made available to Missouri farmers and other residents affected by flooding and severe weather this past year.
An amendment by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., -- included in the FY2012 spending bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies – was passed on Nov. 1. It will add $400 million to the Community Development Block Grant program in order to aid with disaster relief efforts.
"I'm proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle voted to pass this funding, which will help the people of Joplin and those along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers who have been impacted by a number of devastating disasters this year," Blunt said.
The funding will help repair homes for low- and moderate-income households, pay for debris removal, and assist with communities' sewer maintenance. It will also keep energy and water costs low for the people of Joplin, and provide support and incentives for job creators who have lost revenues and agree to keep their businesses in the region.
"These are important steps in the right direction, but there's still more work to do," Blunt stressed. "I'll continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Missouri families and communities have the resources they need to rebuild in the aftermath of these disasters."
In addition, the U.S. Senate also passed the FY2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill on Nov. 1. The bill includes an extra $200 Million for the Emergency Wetlands Program and $127 Million for the Emergency Conservation Program. These programs can help farmers and landowners recover flood damaged lands.
"It is important for those wishing to participate in the programs to contact their local Farm Services Agency office before beginning land restoration efforts. These programs can be used for land clearing and rehabilitation," said Tom Waters, chairman of the Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association.
The Community Development Block Grant program may be used through local county governments to help with river levee repair, Waters added.