BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – The federal government is forgiving more than $ 1.5 million in disaster loans from the 2016 flood for three Baton Rouge-area fire districts, Rep. Garret Graves (R – LA) told WAFB .

Rep. Graves says the loan forgiveness he fought for was included in the government’s emergency interim funding approved in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, which included funds for the Hurricane Ida recovery.

Fire districts used loans during the 2016 flood to continue paying firefighters when taxes were suspended.

Monitoring Loans to fire districts were forgiven:

  • Central Fire Protection District No. 4, $ 770,299.35
  • East Side Fire Protection District No. 5, $ 581,657.42
  • East Baton Rouge Fire Protection District No. 6, $ 216,339.73

“The repayment of this loan affects everyone in our community. After a disaster, local governments are financially affected through fiscal shocks and there is an increase in immediate emergency response. This means a greater need with less money. Rescue efforts were critical during the 2016 flood and not an option – these fire districts should not be penalized for their heroic work. At the time, they needed to keep people on the payroll and provide emergency services. Forgiving these loans will alleviate a significant and persistent financial burden, and budget flexibility will allow fire districts to provide better service, equipment, training, and technology for future response efforts. Ultimately, this will provide better first aid efforts and help protect lower home insurance rates while keeping any risk to fire ratings at bay.This is a good win that we are excited to cross the finish line and We will continue to work with officials. for the support they need, ”Graves said.

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