St. Tammany Parish won't have to pay back a $12 million Katrina loan that it got from FEMA after the 2005 storm.
Parish President Pat Brister tells 99.5FM the federal agency notified the parish Wednesday that it had forgiven the loan.
"We really are freer now to look at how we can spend our money wisely in St. Tammany Parish and not have to worry about paying that loan back and putting money away to do so," Brister said.
Brister said if the loan had not been forgiven, "we would obviously have to cut services and come up with the money."
"It's hard to find the words to tell you how relieved we are," Brister added.
When you add the interest that has accumulated on the loan, the total amount forgiven rises to $14.5 million.