UTICA, NY-- Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente plans to use $12 million for a flood mitigation program to prevent future damage throughout the region.
Picente outlined his plans during his 2018 budget address on Thursday. He said the money would be distributed to local villages, towns and cities throughout the county over a six year period.
After flooding in July, the state allocated $2 million for flood mitigation projects and the county matched that, bringing relief funds to $4 million. Picente said it's a start, but it's not enough.
"The homes that have been lost, the property that has been damaged and the overall cost, " Picente said. "So when I look at the $12 million, first of all that's protecting lives, which we haven't lost but could have, it's protecting property, but it's fixing these streams because the weather patterns ... we don't know anymore."
Picente said the money could be used to allow municipalities to widen creeks, add detention ponds, fix culverts and repair roadways.
"The villages can't do it alone and we have a responsibility there," he said. "We're able to do that."
The Oneida County Board of Legislators still have to vote on the plan by Nov. 12.