Flood recovery discussed at Town Hall Meeting in Oneida

By WKTV News

ONEIDA, N.Y. (WKTV) - For some, clean up from the flooding is over and life is back to normal. For many others, the damage is so bad they aren't even back home yet.

Many Oneida residents packed into the Kallet Theater Tuesday night to ask city officials some questions and hopefully get some answers.

Mayor Max Smith says the primary agenda for the meeting was supposed to be all about Governor Cuomo's Flood Relief Program, but state officials were on the ground over the weekend, signing people up and explaining what they could.

The meeting Tuesday night turned into a Q&A session. Residents submitted questions when they arrived and a panel of city officials answered what they could. There were representatives from National Grid, The Police Department, The Health Department, the City engineer and city attorney were there along with a representative from the DPW and many others.

Some questions were about the safety of the soil or the mold problem. Officials did their best to answer questions from the public but there were some questions that they just didn't have an answer to and they say that's because this is a work in progress and the kinks are being worked out along the way.

The best news they've gotten so far though in Oneida is that the state is here to help. "All along I kept telling everybody don't lose faith," said Mayor Max Smith. "This governor said he would be there for us and he stepped up and he was he was a man of his word and he was a Governor of his word, let's put it that way. There are a lot of fans in Oneida for Andrew Cuomo I'll tell you that."

"I'm just so proud of this community and particularly of the people in the flood zones with the spirit of resiliency and 'can do' that allowed them to accomplish so much in so little time," said Smith.

Still some residents are out of hotels and are struggling to get answers.

A few people had some questions about the vacant properties in the city which have not been touched since the floods. City officials say the city owned properties will be cleaned up by the city. There is no timetable for that to happen just yet. Properties that are owned by out of town landlords are the responsibility of the owner.

DPW officials say dumpsters will likely be removed from the streets by Monday and will only be place in front of homes when homeowners call and request them.

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