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St. Bernard Parish Update: Officials take trailers regardless of what FEMA says
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: February 07, 2006 10:47AM
[www.wwltv.com]

St. Bernard officials take trailers off lot for residents; FEMA doesn't guarantee it will pay for them

St. Bernard Parish leaders said thousands of trailers are still sitting unused and that's unacceptable to them and their constituents; that's why they're taking matters into their own hands.

“Everyday we wait, another family leaves our community,” said St. Bernard Council Chairman Joey DiFatta.

With some 8,000 residents still waiting for their trailers, parish officials said frustrations were at an all time high.

"We know that we can put up 150 to 200 trailers a day in St. Bernard using our people," DiFatta said.

Even more frustrating, DiFatta said, was that there were thousands of available trailers sitting in lots.

Those trailers were brought to one lot by contractor Jim McGuire, who said he has 253 trailers ready to be used on that lot alone. He said that didn't even include the 1,200 trailers he has stored in other locations.

“We were contracted to bring the trailers in,” McGuire said. “We're here, as you can see; we've delivered them.”

Unfortunately, no one has paid for the trailers, worth an estimated $4 million.

"Somebody's going to have to fund it sooner or later,” McGuire said. “And I know that the parish doesn't have the money themselves, so the money's going to have to come from the federal government or FEMA."

But parish officials said they could not wait and took action themselves – towing trailers off McGuire’s lot and taking them to people’s homes, all the while hoping that FEMA will eventually pick up the hefty tab.

But FEMA spokesman Jack Brandais said that’s not how this works.

“They're entitled to do what they like with them, now if they're reimbursed by the federal government for that still remains to be seen,” Brandais said. “If the parish decides to go out and do some things on their own, then the parish assumes the responsibility for that.”

Meaning, there's no guarantee that McGuire or the parish would get reimbursed for the expense of the trailers.

"They have to realize that the federal purchasing rules still have to be followed and so it can be, in fact, slower as far as getting their money back if they kind of jump the gun and do things on their own,” Brandais said.

But DiFatta and other parish leaders said if they don't do things on their own then they’d be stuck playing the waiting game, and the parish will never get back to the way it was.

Brandais said FEMA was trying to work on some sort of reimbursement program for the parish but reiterated that they could not guarantee full reimbursement.
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Re: St. Bernard Parish Update: Officials take trailers regardless of what FEMA says
Posted by: Refurbvirgin
Date: February 07, 2006 11:04AM
>"They have to realize that the federal purchasing rules still have to be followed and so it can be, in fact, slower as far as getting their money back if they kind of jump the gun and do things on their own....”

When the law gets in the way of wiretapping Americans Bush just circumvents it "to protect us from terrorism." When a real threat, as opposed to hyped ones, such as lack of shelter and security confronts people forced into homelessness since August 29 last year the foot-dragging begins. I can imagine the government's mindset:

"If we keep them sleeping in their yards long enough the bugs and snakes will drive them out, then we can claim eminent domain and seize their properties, demolish what remains and create green space for flood plains to protect the upscale areas. It's win-win. We get rid of the poor people (most of them black, of course) that elect Democrats and protect the properties of the rich."
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Re: St. Bernard Parish Update: Officials take trailers regardless of what FEMA says
Posted by: Effin Haole
Date: February 07, 2006 06:06PM
Not as far off the mark as some might think Refurb.
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Re: St. Bernard Parish Update: Officials take trailers regardless of what FEMA says
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 08, 2006 12:57AM
I'm looking for something to disagree with, other that the poster.
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Re: St. Bernard Parish Update: Officials take trailers regardless of what FEMA says
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 08, 2006 12:57AM
I'm looking for something to disagree with, other than the poster.
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