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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 31, 1996
                      TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

The President today reduced part of the U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands' share of disaster recovery costs for Hurricane Bertha by authorizing an increase in the level of Federal funding for rebuilding damaged public facilities, replacing personal property losses and mitigating the impact of future hurricane damage.

Public property repairs, grants to individuals or families and mitigation measures are by law cost-shared, with the Federal government normally paying at least 75 percent of the eligible expenses and the State or Territory and affected local governments providing the remaining 25 percent. Under the President's order, the Federal share is now increased to 90 percent of the eligible costs and the Territory and local government contribution is reduced to 10 percent.

The cost-share adjustment is retroactive to the date of the President's major disaster declaration of July 11, 1996.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster housing, unemployment and crisis counseling assistance programs are funded at 100 percent.