- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - After a yearlong competition for a piece of $1 billion pie, the city of Tuscaloosa learned it will receive nothing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the winners of the National Disaster Resilience Competition on Thursday, the Tuscaloosa News (https://bit.ly/23jOUGG) reported. The city of Tuscaloosa, the only area of Alabama to make it into the second and final round of the competition, was not among the 13 states and communities that will receive part of the money.

“We took a shot - a thoughtfully and thoroughly planned, well-executed shot,” Mayor Walt Maddox said.

The competition was designed to help states and local communities recover from disasters while improving their ability to withstand future ones through strategic community investments.

Funding for the awards came from the approximately $1 billion in unused Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for disaster recovery that was distributed through HUD for presidentially-declared major disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

HUD had reserved $181 million for areas in New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The remainder was to be doled out following a two-phase application process.

The tornado on April 27, 2011 in Tuscaloosa damaged or destroyed more than 12 percent of the city and contributed to the deaths of more than 50 people made it eligible for the competition.

HUD representatives offered when asked no answers as to what led to Tuscaloosa being left out of the awards.

“Beyond telling you that this was an extremely competitive competition, I can’t be any more specific,” Brian Sullivan of HUD’s Office of Public Affairs said. “We’ll be offering technical debriefings with our applicants over the next month to get into each submission in great detail.”

Tuscaloosa already had received $60.5 million from HUD’s CDBG disaster recovery program since the 2011 tornado.

States and communities receiving the National Disaster Resilience Competition money include: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Minot, North Dakota., New Jersey, New Orleans, New York City, State of New York, Shelby County, Tennessee, Springfield, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia.

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