Monroe County leaders, County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, County Administrator Roman Gastesi, and County Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson, traveled to Washington, DC this past week to meet with government agencies to garner support for Monroe County initiatives. Their trip included three top priorities of meeting with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The leadership met with NRCS to discuss the Emergency Watershed Protection program grant. Monroe County received a $45.8 million grant for marine debris removal. To date, the project is 87 percent complete with $17.5 million used to clean the approved canals. Monroe County is seeking support to use the additional funding for Hurricane Irma sediment removal in Florida Keys canals.
The meeting with FEMA included discussions about reimbursements for Monroe County hurricane expenses and the $6 million base camp appeal. Monroe County incurred $45 million in Hurricane Irma emergency expenses and to date has received $6.5 million in FEMA reimbursements.
Meetings were held with various members of Congress who sit on the House Financial Services committee about National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reform. The committee is responsible for NFIP legislation. The meetings included Monroe County’s need to protect flood insurance affordability and mitigation funding. Monroe County has more than 30,000 policyholders.
“There are many new faces on these committees and we want them to be aware and educated on the broad importance of the National Flood Insurance Program and the importance of its re-authorization for Monroe County, as well as the specific reforms advocated by the County,” said Tennyson.
The three also met with Senator Rick Scott’s office to discuss legislative priorities with a focus on NRCS, FEMA, and NFIP. The meeting was the first general introduction with Senator Scott’s team since he took office in Washington, DC in January.
PHOTO: Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi, left, County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, and County Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson travel to Washington, DC to discuss Monroe County initiatives regarding marine debris canal cleanups, hurricane expense reimbursements and affordable flood insurance.