WASHINGTON, NY — April 1, 2015 — Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to boost New York’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant by $2 million following budgetary approval by Congress last month. The increase will bring the total funding for the New York City metropolitan area from UASI, a grant dedicated to helping metropolitan areas prepare for terrorist attacks, to $180.9 million. In addition, DHS has also extended the timeframe in which grant money for security projects must be spent, from two years to three, citing the complexity and scope of certain projects that require more than two years for completion.
“DHS has made a wise decision in steering additional federal security grant dollars to New York City, Westchester County and its surrounding areas, which are obviously at a higher risk of terrorist attacks than most places,” Congressman Engel said. “Every dollar spent on terrorism prevention and preparedness is a dollar well spent, and I know these additional funds will help us complete some very important projects in Westchester County and New York City.
“I am also pleased to know DHS is expanding the timeframe in which these grants must be spent, from two years to three, as certain projects simply cannot be completed in an abbreviated period. Decisions like these make New York safer, and I thank DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson for listening and responding to our security concerns for the area.”
New York State will also receive an additional $207,000 in its State Homeland Security Grant Program funding, bringing its total up to $76.9 million. House Republicans initially threatened to veto any funding for DHS in protest of President Obama’s immigration policy, but dropped the ill-fated maneuver after much posturing and approved the department’s budget on March 4th.
A breakdown of funding allocations among Westchester municipalities is being scrutinized for specify amounts.
SOURCE: Bryant Daniels, Director of Public Affairs, Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel, 16th Congressional District, New York.