The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 12/4/7

Mississippi’s coastal residents awaiting funds from a state-run federal grant program are rightly growing frustrated some 2 1/2 years after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Someone – Gov. Haley Barbour and the Mississippi congressional delegation – should step forward and cut the red tape.

As The Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday, after spending $30,000 from retirement accounts to raise her home 16 1/2 feet, Joanie Waddell of Moss Point joined thousands of others in applying for a grant of up to $30,000 to help offset rebuilding elevation costs. But six months after applying, “I called and was told they did not even know where the applications were,” she said.

“Then I continued calling and found out they did not know what to do with the applications they had received. Finally, after several months, I received a call saying they had found my application. However, they did not have any procedures as to how to process them,” she said.

Turns out, as of Sept. 30, none of the $250 million allocated for elevation costs had been spent – 2 1/2 years after Katrina!