New Orleans doesn't have to return $2B in Katrina grants
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Congressman Cedric Richmond says New Orleans can keep $2 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency grants approved to fix sewers and water pipes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
A Department of Homeland Security audit last July said FEMA should take back the money. It said the pipes were in bad shape before the 2005 storm, and the city couldn't prove damages were disaster-related.
Richmond says the department recently told its inspector general's office to close the audit recommendations without further action. He says the city can now use the money.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell says she's glad to have the matter resolved, and looks forward to moving ahead quickly with the work.
The New Orleans Advocate reports that the city had continued to use money from the FEMA settlement.