A large part of Jefferson City is listed among the three areas in Missouri that have been given priority in receiving Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to assist in recovery from the May 2019 tornado and other disasters, the federal government announced last week.
The 65101 zip code — the area of Cole County and Jefferson City hit hardest by the May 22 tornado — as well as the 64437 zip code in Holt County and St. Charles County as a whole are the three areas that must receive no less than approximately $24.6 million out of approximately $30.8 million in total CDBG-DR funds designated for Missouri after 2019's severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Jan. 17.
The 65101 and 64437 zip codes and St. Charles County are prioritized because they have been identified as "most impacted and distressed" areas.
CDBG-DR funds are provided by HUD and administered by states and local governments, and the grants supplement disaster programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The funds help municipalities and states recover from presidentially declared disasters, "especially in low- and moderate-income areas," according to HUD.
The more than $30 million for Missouri's 2019 disasters is part of more than $3.8 billion in CDBG-DR funds allocated last year for long-term recovery from major disasters across the United States and its territories in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — including wildfires in California; hurricanes and typhoons in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, the Carolinas and the Northern Mariana Islands; earthquake in Alaska; volcanic eruption in Hawaii; and flooding in Nebraska, Iowa and Texas.
Before any grantee receives CDBG-DR funding, it must submit a plan detailing how the money would be used — a plan that must include how the funds "will address long-term recovery and restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation in the most impacted and distressed areas," according to a HUD document.
That planning process also involves an assessment of community impacts and unmet needs, as well as a public comment period.
Maggie Kost, director of strategy and performance for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, emailed Wednesday that even though the federal government's funding allocation notice was posted Jan. 17, "We're still waiting on the Federal Register notice. Once the Federal Register notice is posted, the state will have 120 days to submit an action plan for that round of funding."
The Federal Register is the daily journal of the U.S. government, and it includes postings of documents such as presidential executive orders and proclamations, as well as notices, rules and proposed rules from federal agencies.
Three states have been budgeted more than 60 percent of the more than $3.8 billion of CDBG-DR funding allocated last year: California, about 27.5 percent; Florida, more than 20 percent; and North Carolina, more than 14 percent. Texas, Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas and Nebraska account for most of the rest.
Missouri is also tagged to receive a further $9.8 million, approximately, due to flooding in 2017.
All funds received must be spent within six years.