(WKTV) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday hand-delivered flood relief checks to a handful of Central New York flood victims.
The governor pulled the recipients on stage at Herkimer County Community College, where he announced Thursday morning that the state had issued 1,206 checks totalling around $13.6 million in flood relief to victims in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery and Niagara counties.
In Herkimer County, 558 checks were issued for a total of around $6.6 million; in Oneida County, 145 checks for a total of around $1.6 million were issued.
"There will be more checks coming, more applications are being processed," Cuomo said. "Some people requested buyouts where literally the government will buy out their home. Those take a little longer to do."
While the governor spoke, flood victim Patrick Bielanski expressed frustration from outside the college.
"I'll be hopeful if they show me the money," said Bielanski, who added that he was told the state would not reimburse him for loss to his properties in which he does not live.
"I'm a landlord, and the state is not going to do anything with the landlords."
"And renters are eligible for reimbursement so it's not the landlord, it's the renter who had the unit, and the reimbursement goes to the renter as oposed to the landlord," said Cuomo.
Herkimer County Legislative Chairman Vincent Bono said that the benefits of a low-interest loan, which the state is offering those landlords, should not be discounted.
"If a business owner has a mortgage or other bills they want to consolidate in with their flooding damages, they can do that, so if they have a $100,000 mortgage potentially they can lump that in with that 1.8 percent," said Buono.
Cuomo said the state is still processing individual claims for aid. He said the state sent out adjusters to assess damage and make sure it met the federal criteria for reimbursement, which the state is using as a guideline for distributing aid.