FEMA forgives millions in Katrina loans
GRETNA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has forgiven tens of millions of dollars in community disaster loans it made to Jefferson Parish and to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office after Hurricane Katrina.
Officials say the cancellations free Jefferson Parish of having to repay its original $54.8 million loan and $11.1 million in accrued interest.
The St. Tammany Sheriff's Office is relieved of repaying a $9.9 million loan. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office made the announcements this week.
The loan forgiveness resulted from several years of wrangling with FEMA over eligibility requirements that had excluded many southeast Louisiana governments and organizations from having their loans forgiven.
Earlier this year, Landrieu had a rule change added to the 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.