JEFFERSON PARISH, La. - Following news from FEMA that it is refusing to forgive $55 million in Hurricane Katrina related loans, Jefferson Parish officials vowed not to give up Friday morning.

Jefferson Parish would have to repay an amount that is a little over 10 percent of its entire annual budget, which could eliminate funding for big projects like drainage upgrades.

FEMA has the power to forgive loans for applicants that had an operating deficit during the three full fiscal years after Hurricane Katrina.

But the agency said that Jefferson Parish is not eligible for cancellation because it had an operating surplus of more than $100 million.

Parish officials said they are looking for alternatives to the decision.

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