FEMA awards Marco Island $1.5 million for a generator

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding the city of Marco Island a $1,500,000 grant to fund a generator for potable water treatment, water pressure and fire suppression supply in the event of an outage, the agency said Wednesday in a press release.

The site of the new generator will be the Water Source Facility.

"It would keep the lift stations running when the electricity goes out so that the toilets would flush," City Council chair Erik Brechnitz said.

The city of Marco Island's Water Source Facility is located at 7130 Collier Blvd. in Naples.

Councilor Jared Grifoni wrote in an email that this was a win for Marco Island.

"As a barrier island located in an area ... where tropical weather impacts are not a matter of if, but when, we must always remain vigilant," Grifoni said. "We must be prepared to take every opportunity to improve our ability to respond and recover and being awarded this grant will help us do that."

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The project will provide protection against a 500 year event, according to Alberto A. Pillot of FEMA.

"The generator will be protected from hurricane wind damage by an enclosure and will be  installed with all necessary accessories for its operations including the connection to a transfer switch," Pillot wrote in an email. 

Councilor Larry Honig said the grant was a major award.

"We can thank Chief Chris Byrne and his emergency management team for working hard to present this project to FEMA and shepherd it through to completion,” Honig said.

Funding for the 1600-kilowatt generator, a Hazard Mitigation grant, is authorized under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.

"The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) dollars help strengthen communities by improving buildings, facilities and infrastructure that people use every day," FEMA said.

The HMGP is a state led program and is funded by FEMA.

"Florida has a FEMA-approved Enhanced Mitigation Plan, making the state eligible for HMGP funding not to exceed 20 percent of the estimated total amount of money spent by FEMA on disaster grants in the Hurricane Irma disaster," the organization related. 

"From this amount, HMGP reimburses the state up to 75 percent of eligible costs for mitigation projects. The remaining amount comes from other sources such as state and local assets and a combination of cash and in-kind sources."

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