Mar 19 7:16 PM

Kansas City celebrates federal terrorism risk funding

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Kansas City, Mo. was one of several locations where officials celebrated being added back to a federal list of cities that will receive funds for being most at risk for a terrorist attack. With the restoration of its risky status, Kansas City will receive $1 million in special emergency preparedness funding.

In 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's grant program Urban Areas Security Initiative limited the number of cities eligible for terrorism-related emergency preparedness funds to 25. 

UASI allocates funds based on the the Department of Homeland Security's assessment of each city's risk of terrorism. 

With the 2013 cap, cities such as Kansas City, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and San Antonio stopped receiving UASI funds, as DHS did not place them in top 25 cities most likely to experience an attack.

This year, these cities will once again receive special emergency preparedness funds after elected representatives from these cities made a significant push for these funds to be restored.

Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's press release states that he "argued vociferously in Washington that Kansas City should be returned to the list of cities getting funds." 

The Las Vegas Sun characterized the effort of Nevada's Congressional delegation as a "full-court press," with Rep. Steven Horsford, Rep. Joe Heck, and both of Nevada's senators involved in the effort to restore UASI funds to Las Vegas. 

Thirty-nine cities will receive UASI funding in 2014. Kansas City, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Indianapolis will each receive $1 million.

For some of these cities, this $1 million represents a reduction from the funds they used to receive before the 2013 cap. Between 2003 and 2012, Kansas City received more than $70 million in UASI grants. Las Vegas' grants under UASI have ranged from $12 million in 2003 to $5.7 million in 2011.

Nevertheless, city officials welcomed the funds. 

Nevada's Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie commented, “It might not seem like that much, but in my world that’s a lot of money that can be put to good use."

"That was beautiful," said Kansas City's fire chief of his elected representatives' efforts in getting the funds restored.


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