Thursday, September 6, 2018

State Assisting Fair Bluff to Hire Three Employees to Help with Hurricane Recovery

Sep 6, 2018

The town of Fair Bluff will soon be hiring three new employees to help with Hurricane Matthew relief, thanks to funding proposed by Governor Cooper and approved by legislators in the state budget passed in July. These full time positions include a project manager, a land use planner and a police officer. 

“These new positions are critical to Fair Bluff’s efforts to recover from Hurricane Mathew, and we’re grateful to the State of North Carolina for funding recovery experts and a new police officer to help us rebuild our town and maintain safety,” said Al Leonard, Fair Bluff Town Manager.  

The project manager and land use planner will be working on Hurricane Matthew recovery initiatives that are critical to rebuild Fair Bluff, including federal recovery programs now underway. The police officer will focus on crime prevention, especially in the 47 building sites undergoing repairs or remaining vacant since Hurricane Matthew. The three positions are funded through the state appropriation and will be hired in cooperation with the Cape Fear Council of Governments, which will provide administrative and planning technical assistance to the town.

Seventy-one homes in Fair Bluff have been approved through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and the town is moving ahead with the process to start that mitigation work. Thirty-four Fair Bluff homeowners will receive buyouts of their properties, while 17 homes will be elevated and 20 will be torn down and reconstructed in a more resilient manner.

Many Fair Bluff residents are among the 180 from Columbus County who have applied for disaster recovery assistance through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program (CBDG-DR). Those applications are currently working their way through HUD’s detailed approval process.

HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Patenaude visited Fair Bluff two weeks ago, along with Congressman David Rouzer and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. Patenaude met with town leaders and residents, saw businesses that remain closed and toured once flooded neighborhoods that are still struggling to recover. She pledged more HUD resources to speed the flow of CDBG-DR assistance to Fair Bluff and other North Carolina communities that are still working to recover from Hurricane Matthew.