Multiple ways provided for people wishing to offer thoughts on proposals
The Sarasota County Resilient SRQ program’s draft action plan — which includes proposed funding uses and summary documents for the $201.5 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that the county has received — has been made available online at scgov.net/ResilientSRQ, county staff announced on July 26.
The federal money will support long-term recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s strike on Southwest Florida in September 2022, as The Sarasota News Leader has reported.
During their regular meeting on July 11, the county commissioners reviewed county staff proposals for use of the funding, which came directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The managers of the county’s program have pointed out that 70% of the funds must go toward assisting low- and moderate-income residents. Those are defined as persons in households making 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). For the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) this year, the AMI for a family of four, as set by HUD, is $98,700. A HUD chart shows that 80% of that for a family of four would be $73,100.
County residents are encouraged to review the draft action plan — which the commissioners modified — and provide comments on it no later than Aug. 25, a county news release says.
People will have multiple ways to offer their thoughts on the proposals, staff notes in the release:
- Attend a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9 at the R.L. Anderson Administration Center, located at 4000 S. Tamiami Trail in Venice.
- Visit scgov.net/ResilientSRQ and complete the comment form.
- Email comments to ResilientSRQComments@scgov.net.
- Mail comments to Sarasota County Administration Center, Attn: Resilient SRQ, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236
The draft action plan for the county explains that Ian — which was a Category 5 storm — had a 200-mile wind field, with winds exceeding 85 mph in Sarasota County. The state attributed 144 deaths to the hurricane; 10 of those occurred within Sarasota County, the plan adds.
“This death toll ranked Sarasota County second in terms of the highest number of fatalities, following Lee County,” the plan points out. “Furthermore, the hurricane brought widespread devastation from over 21 inches of rainfall, causing significant flooding.”
The plan adds, “[T]he southern region of the County experienced catastrophic damage. The Holiday Park mobile home community in the City of North Port was nearly destroyed, impacting numerous low-to-moderate income (LMI) families who resided there.”
Further, “High winds damaged buildings,” including the historic Venice Theatre structure, the Salvation Army of Sarasota County’s North Port facility, and the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ North Port club (Gene Matthews Club),” the draft plan adds.
“According to information received through the FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] Individual Assistance data, 57,377 households in the county applied for disaster-related assistance,” the draft continues. “Among those registered with FEMA, an estimated 37,551 households, accounting for approximately 65.4% of the total, reported incomes below 80% of the area median income (AMI) by household size. The financial circumstances of these families make it a challenge to address disaster impacts even minimally, let alone recover to make their homes more resilient to future disasters,” the draft emphasizes.
A county review of that FEMA Individual Assistance data also found that 1,904 households experienced damage from flooding, having had 12 inches or more of water in their dwellings. Those households also are expected to apply for CDBG-DR assistance, the draft notes.
For more details from the draft plan — including a breakdown of the County Commission proposals for allocations of the federal funds — visit scgov.net/ResilientSRQ.