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Cooper Announces Funds for Recovery

RALEIGH — Local governments can now receive financial help from the state to help recover from Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced Thursday that the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency had launched two programs to assist local governments struggling financially in the aftermath of the September hurricane.

“Communities are working to clean up and rebuild following Hurricane Florence and some local governments need help to get them through this extraordinary time,” said Cooper in statement. “Grants and loans are available to towns, cities and counties so they can continue to meet the needs of their residents while recovering from storm damage.”

More than $7 million in grants and loans already have been disbursed and more is available, including grants of up to $1 million to eligible local governments to provide short-term assistance with everyday operating expenses, such as general payroll, certain non-disaster-related vendor payments, and debt service.

Gov. Roy Cooper

Grant funds can also be used to provide additional capacity for disaster recovery by funding up to two time-limited positions, contracting for disaster recovery services, and purchasing a vehicle.

Eligible local governments can also apply for no-interest loans of up to $2 million to help with disaster-related expenses while waiting for reimbursement from federal disaster response, recovery and resiliency programs, according to the release. Approved local governments would repay the loan principal amount upon receipt of federal reimbursement.

Both programs are ongoing and use funds from the State Disaster Recovery Act. There is no deadline for applications, but the organization will stop taking applications once all funds are awarded.

Several communities have already received grants and loans totaling more than $7 million to help with operating costs and recovery expenses.

Pollocksville, Fair Bluff, Cape Carteret and Robbins each received $500,000 in grant funds and River Bend received $300,000 in grant funds. Loans disbursed included $2 million to Fair Bluff, $1.6 million to Robbins, $1 million to Beaufort and $800,000 to River Bend.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.