BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Three local fire districts were forgiven outstanding balances of Community Disaster Loans (CDLs) after the 2016 Flood, according to U.S. Congressman Garret Graves.
A news release states, “The loan forgiveness Graves fought for was included in the stopgap emergency government funding passed in the U.S. House earlier this month which included Hurricane Ida recovery funding. The fire districts used the loans during the 2016 Flood to keep paying firefighters as taxes were suspended.”
Fire Districts and Loan Amounts Forgiven:
- Central Fire Protection District No. 4, $770,299.35
- East Side Fire Protection District No. 5, $581,657.42
- East Baton Rouge Fire Protection District No. 6, $216,339.73
“This loan repayment impacts every single person in our community. In the aftermath of a disaster, local governments take a hit financially through tax impacts and there is a surge in immediate emergency response. This means greater need with less money. The rescue efforts were critical during the 2016 Flood and not an option – these fire districts should not be penalized for their heroic work. At the time, they needed to keep folks on the payroll and provide emergency services. Forgiving these loans will alleviate a lingering major financial burden and the budget flexibility will allow the fire districts to provide better service, equipment, training, and technology for future response efforts. This will ultimately provide better first responder efforts and help protect lower home insurance rates while keeping at bay any risk to the fire ratings. This is a good win that we’re excited to get across the finish line, and we will keep working with officials for the support they need,” Graves said.