With a new infusion of $30 million in funding from the State of North Carolina in June 2017, Golden LEAF is once again ready to help local government and nonprofit organizations recovering from Hurricane Matthew, tropical storms Julia and Hermine and the 2016 western wildfires.
The Golden LEAF Foundation has already exhausted the $25 million appropriated through the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016.
As of August 2017, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors has awarded $25.5 million in grants for disaster recovery efforts in 10 counties and has awarded $5 million in funding to support small business loan programs.
"Our state leaders provided funds to Golden LEAF to put crucial capital to work as fast as possible to support our local governments and small business dealing with recovery," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. "Golden LEAF is pleased to help keep a natural disaster from becoming an economic disaster."
To date, entities in Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Jones, Lenoir, Pitt, Robeson and Wayne counties have received funding for a variety of projects to help with recovery efforts.
The Golden LEAF Disaster Recovery Grants Program has helped Robeson County recover from 2016 storm damage by providing funding for building repairs, infrastructure, repair and replacement of equipment and stormwater drainage.
Pictured is an office in Robeson County Schools main administrative building following the flooding from Hurricane Matthew.
“We were so grateful to have Golden LEAF working with us on our unmet needs that were not addressed by FEMA and other available dollars,” said Lumberton City Manager, Wayne Horne. “Without the assistance from the Golden LEAF Foundation, our communities would have likely seen sizable increases in taxes and other fees to provide the revenues needed to address drainage issues around Southeastern Health, fund major repairs to the city’s water plant and to help restore public buildings damaged by Hurricane Matthew. With the assistance, we were able to avoid passing on recovery costs to our taxpayers.”
In Cumberland County, Golden LEAF has funded multiple projects to remove debris blocking waterways, a project to repair storm drainage and a project to provide road access to housing development that lost its road entrance as a result of the hurricane.
Golden LEAF Senior VP Mark Sorrells surveys damage from Hurricane Matthew on a bridge over a Fayetteville Creek.
“We are truly honored to be recipients Golden LEAF Disaster Recovery Grant program funding,” said City Manager Douglas J. Hewett. “Hurricane Matthew devastated the city of Fayetteville on October 8th 2016 and our city and our residents incurred millions of dollars in damages. While we like to consider ourselves prepared for any emergency, we simply have not seen devastation on this large a scale in Fayetteville in many years. These grants will go a long ways toward helping our city and its residents recover.”
Golden LEAF support complements but does not supplant other state, federal, and private funding available for disaster recovery.
"As the Mayor of a City that was hit as hard as we were, I have the deepest heartfelt appreciation for the help we have received from Golden LEAF, our State's General Assembly as well as FEMA and special Federal earmarks," said Mayor Nat Robertson.
Funding through the Disaster Recovery Grants Program is available in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew, Tropical Storm Julia or Tropical Storm Hermine, and the 2016 western wildfires. Eligible projects include: repairing or replacing existing infrastructure; infrastructure to support new housing development; repairing or replacing equipment; and building, replacing, or improving public infrastructure to support hazard mitigation. For more information about the Golden LEAF Disaster Recovery Grants Program, click here.