39 get storm shelter grants

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2012

Some 39 local residents will share in a nearly $240,000 grant to construct storm shelters on their property.

Covington County Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Harris said the funding was made available through a federal EMA grant that will allow homeowners to be reimbursed 75 percent of the cost to construct the shelter on their property.

The project’s application period was held last August, and Harris was notified of the awards this week.

“These funds are from the April 2011 tornadoes,” Harris said. “We had 39 applicants approved, for a total of $239,738.”

The federal share of the project is $161,455, she said.

“Residents should understand that this is not a new grant, and these funds are for people who’ve already filled out an application,” she said.

Harris said applicants are being notified this week of the award. She said those approved must pay the total cost of the project up front.

“There are different sizes of shelters to accommodate the needs of the family,” she said. “The smallest structure starts at about $4,000 and accommodates four people. These structures are kind of like houses – you can get them as basic or as outfitted as you’d like.”

Harris said a project kick-off meeting will be held this month.

“And how long construction takes of these structures are up to the individual,” she said.