Wednesday, June 21, 2006



RV Business
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nearly 200 FEMA travel trailers paid for with taxpayer dollars sit unused just a few yards from a Louisiana lake on a site the government spent $7 million improving, according to a report in The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette.

Hundreds more trailers sit unoccupied across the region while families wait in vain for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to put trailers next to their damaged homes.

The waste of taxpayer dollars has some residents frustrated. "Everybody pays for it," said Morgan City resident Raymond Aucoin.

According to FEMA, more than 600 travel trailers and mobile homes sit at commercial sites and RV parks in eight Louisiana parishes. Another 381 trailers and mobile homes are in place and ready to use but are empty.

That adds up to big bucks coming from taxpayers' pockets for empty trailers.

FEMA pays, on average, $600 a month to lease space for each trailer, including utilities, said Rachel Rodi, FEMA spokeswoman. Purchasing each travel trailer costs taxpayers between $10,000 and $13,000, while a full-sized mobile home costs about $30,000, she said.

The 18-month life span of a FEMA travel trailer, including installation, maintenance, removal, security and utilities, costs about $60,000 per trailer at group sites, Rodi said.

"The biggest shame in this is that the federal government really wants to help," said Dave Williams, vice president for policy for Citizens Against Government Waste. "It's just that they get so worried about the red tape and doing things by the book that they forget what the end product is, to help people."

U.S. Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., R-Lafayette, is working on legislation that would reform FEMA. He and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., toured two parishes recently, listening to suggestions and complaints about the agency.

"The waste and red tape that exists throughout FEMA is ridiculous and completely unacceptable to me," he said.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?