Puerto Rico governor receives agreement for $8.2 billion of federal relief funds
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced received an agreement for the disbursement of $8.2 billion of Hurricane Maria-related federal aid Monday.
Housing and Urban Development official Brian Montgomery gave the agreement for the Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery money to the governor.
The U.S. federal government has approved a total of $20 billion of CDBG-DR funding to aid in the island’s reconstruction from Maria, which hit the island in late summer 2017. Of this, the federal government has made $1.5 billion available.
The new agreement will open the gates for the federal government to disburse another $8.2 billion.
Several members of Congress have complained about the slow pace of the federal government’s release of hurricane-relief aid to the island.
The new agreement includes provisions that the Puerto Rico Oversight Board must approve funded projects, the local government must take steps to improve the registration of property, and the local government must repeal a recently passed law that construction workers on federally funded projects would be paid at least $15 per hour.
In other Puerto Rico news, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced Tuesday that she was nominating Doriel Pagán Crespo to become the executive director of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority.
The PRASA board of directors subsequently voted to approve the nomination. She will take leadership of the authority on Friday.
The governor nominated Pagán Crespo to replace Elí Díaz Atienza, who is resigning the position at the end of Thursday.
Pagán Crespo has worked at PRASA since 1998. She has been the authority’s vice president since 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus.
“I congratulate the governor and the government board for the recommendation and confirmation of the appointment of Engineer Pagán Crespo,” Díaz Atienza said. “Her work after the hurricanes of 2017, during the drought period and recently during the earthquakes has shown a total commitment to the people of Puerto Rico. I wish Doriel the greatest success in this assignment. PRASA is in very good hands. ”