Report Claims Katrina Recovery Funds Mishandled

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Jackson, Miss. A new federal report says Mississippi officials accepted unsupported population growth estimates in developing a plan to use $653 million in federal Hurricane Katrina recovery money for water and wastewater facilities, including some that may not be needed.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General also questioned appraisals used to buy private land.

In June 2012, The Associated Press reported on concerns raised by residents and officials concerning the population estimates and the use of eminent domain to acquire private land for projects that may not be needed for years, if ever.

Among other things, the OIG report recommends that Mississippi implement procedures to ensure that "in the future the need and size of projects are determined and supported by objective and relevant population data."