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No More Money For Hurricane Shelter Generators

December 13th, 2007 by flanews

A multi-million dollar project to help people with special needs during disasters is out of money.  The funds were supposed to buy large generators for special needs shelters.  As Chris Casquejo tells us, lawmakers are demanding answers.

Hear it here: No More Money For Hurricane Shelter Generators

After two bad hurricane seasons, Florida lawmakers set aside more than $50 million to buy large generators for specials needs shelters.  But nearly two years later, the project is far from finished.

Republican Senator Mike Fasano could not believe his ears, especially after emergency management leaders told lawmakers that they needed another $51 million dollars.

“There has to be a transparency here,” Sen. Fasano said.  “We can’t be doing things with taxpayer money behind closed doors.”

After the 2005 hurricane season, the state bought 52 generators to power special needs shelters.  Right now, only 8 are in place and there’s no more money to put in anymore.

Emergency management director Craig Fugate blames the higher costs of copper and concrete for some of the overruns, plus a rush to get the generators as soon as possible.

“The run on generators with two quiet hurricane seasons has decreased,” Fugate said.  “At the time, there was a lot of activity in purchasing these sized generators.  Everything compelled us to buy the generators upfront.”

But lawmakers want more answers before they dole out any more of your money. And hopefully, we’ll have those answers before the next hurricane season starts.

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