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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The first 84 trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to serve as temporary shelters for residents left homeless by Hurricane Irma began arriving in Key West on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reports.
At least three of the trailers arrived at the Naval Air Station Key West on Boca Chica Key, according to a Monroe County statement reported by Miami’s NBC News Channel 6.
The trailers will be allocated to applicants whose homes were destroyed or left uninhabitable by the storm. Hurricane Irma ravaged the Middle and Lower Keys on September 10, but left Key West largely unscathed.
“This is great news,” said Christine Hurley, the Monroe County Assistant County Administrator, at Wednesday’s county commission meeting. She is also leading the recovery effort for Monroe County Emergency Management.
Residents Will Move In after the Trailers Are Ready for Habitation
Hurley told the Herald that the next step is for FEMA to install the trailers on pads. The trailers will become habitable as soon as they are hooked up to power, sewer and water lines.
Some trailers may be located on approved private property and others could be set up at six larger sites that have been approved by FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, county spokeswoman Cammy Clark said.
Monroe County’s Board of County Commissioners also approved an emergency ordinance on Wednesday. The ordinance provides a temporary exemption from the four-cent tourist development tax and the one-cent tourist impact tax (bed taxes) for rental residential properties that qualify and for rent to residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Irma. This ordinance will be in effect for six months.
The board also passed several planning and environmental, building and code compliance resolutions dealing with the current state of emergency throughout Monroe County. There are two exemptions:
- The removal of hazardous vegetation from the permitting requirements for 60 days as necessary to facilitate recovery from impacts associated with Hurricane Irma.
- The removal of nuisance exotic vegetation from the permitting requirements to facilitate recovery from impacts associated with Hurricane Irma.
The County Commission also approved releasing emergency Tourist Development Council funds. Up to $1 million has been earmarked for marketing and another $1 million is allocated for capital projectsto aid in the recovery from Hurricane Irma.