Weiner criticizes terror-funding disbursements

By Scott Sieber

On Jan. 3, the federal agency announced $765 million in direct funding for high threat urban areas, but Weiner said the formula used to distribute that money is flawed.Weiner said this year, there are parts of the country that do not carry the same threat as New York City. Such areas include Louisville, Ky., Omaha, Neb. and Toledo, Ohio.Over the past three years, New York City has received varying amounts of funding: $207.5 million in 2005, $49.7 million in 2004 and $124.8 million in 2003.”The news is not all bad,” said Weiner. “The system will now be based primarily on threat and risk and New York City could be eligible for more funds than in the past. But before we claim victory, let's acknowledge that there are a lot of cities on this list that should not be there.”In response to the scattered funding, Weiner said he will reintroduce the THREAT Act: Targeting Homeland Security Resources Effectively Against Terrorism Act. The bill is designed to bring more funding into New York City, Weiner said.In 2003, Homeland Security dolled out funding to only seven areas it identified as high-density terror targets. Those areas were New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.There are now a total of 46 areas eligible to receive funding, including cities with smaller populations like Louisville, Omaha and Toledo.At the last session of Congress, Weiner recommended cutting the total number of eligible cities from 35 to 15.There are more than 8 million people in New York City, according to a 2004 U.S. Census survey.The following areas will be eligible for the federal funding:Phoenix, Ariz. Anaheim, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Sacramento, and San Diego, Calif.Denver, Colo.Washington D.C.Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.Atlanta, Ga.HonoluluChicago, Ill.Indianapolis, Ind.Louisville, Ky.Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.Boston, Mass.Baltimore, Md.Detroit, Mich.Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.Charlotte, N.C.Omaha, Neb.Jersey City and Newark, N.J.Las Vegas.Buffalo and New York CityCincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, OhioOklahoma City.Portland, Ore.Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.Memphis, Tenn.Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston and San Antonio, TexasSeattle, Wash.Milwaukee, Wis.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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