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Governor announces NYS to cover local share of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee response and recovery costs

By WKTV News

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will cover the local share of disaster response and recovery costs resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) usually covers 75% of eligible disaster response and recovery costs, and the remaining 25% is typically shared equally by the state and localities. Under the Governor's direction, the state will pick up the local share for most eligible expenses, making $61 million available to 25 counties to cover costs associated with emergency shelter, road, water system and infrastructure repair, stream and riverbed mitigation, and other clean-up projects.

"Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated communities across our state, uprooting lives and placing a tremendous financial strain on families and local governments," Governor Cuomo said. "During the storms and their aftermath, New Yorkers in an outpouring of goodwill came together to lend a hand to their neighbors, and now it is the state's turn to lend a hand to localities. I am pleased that New York State could step up to the plate and provide tens of millions of dollars in funding to take the pressure off local governments and taxpayers, and allow existing rebuilding and recovery projects to move forward as quickly as possible."

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused widespread destruction across New York late last summer, marking one of the largest disasters in the state's history. The total storm recovery cleanup cost is expected to exceed $1.6 billion and involve approximately 15,000 separate response and recovery projects.

The state is able to cover the local share of costs through funding put in place by the Legislature and additional federal funds requested by the Governor.

Counties receiving funds include:

County

Estimated Cost of Recovery Projects

Local Share
(to be covered by state)

Albany

15,142,464

1,892,808

Broome

75,223,597

9,402,950

Chemung

12,560,712

1,570,089

Chenango

12,590,751

1,573,844

Clinton

5,158,720

644,840

Columbia

5,205,259

650,657

Delaware

31,705,692

3,963,212

Essex

14,538,328

1,817,291

Franklin

914,856

114,357

Greene

35,586,702

4,448,338

Hamilton

80,546

10,068

Herkimer

1,332,126

166,516

Montgomery

7,902,476

987,809

Oneida

3,442,192

430,274

Otsego

12,196,474

1,524,559

Rensselaer

28,214,874

3,526,859

Saratoga

4,120,447

515,056

Schenectady

14,982,951

1,872,869

Schoharie

102,577,294

12,822,162

Sullivan

3,698,124

462,265

Tioga

57,458,601

7,182,325

Tompkins

2,831,347

353,918

Ulster

30,029,238

3,753,655

Warren

6,075,199

759,400

Washington

3,778,212

472,277

Total

487,347,182

60,918,398


State Senator Tom Libous said, "Our area was hit hard by flooding and by its after effects, which our local governments are struggling to afford. Many municipalities are faced with doing nothing or raising property taxes to cover the local share of the recovery. We worked with Governor Cuomo to have the state pick up this cost so that we can continue moving forward without harming our local taxpayers."

State Senator Hugh Farley said, "This action will provide much needed financial relief for local communities which were hit hard by last year's flooding. I had advocated for this assistance and I applaud the governor for working with us in responding to the plight of these communities."

State Senator James L. Seward said, "Immediately after Irene and Lee hit I implored the governor to take this step, and I co-sponsored legislation that would require the state to pick up the local share of flood repair costs. Communities have banded together to rebuild, and the state has been there every step of the way, but the mounting repair bills have been looming. Removing this substantial burden from the shoulders of local government and taxpayers is a vital step toward a full recovery both physically and fiscally."

State Senator Betty Little said, "The local response to last year’s devastating flooding truly was remarkable. Our elected officials, emergency directors and first responders did a tremendous job in the hours, days and weeks following the storm. However, meeting the financial challenge of
recovery has been a real challenge for local governments with limited resources, so I am very pleased to see New York State pick up the local share. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment and interest in seeing the best possible outcome for the North Country. He’s been with us every step of the way."

"With this flood relief funding announcement, New York State is telling our flood-ravaged areas that we are still here to help rebuild," said Assemblymember Aileen Gunther. "This funding will provide additional support to these areas while minimizing the burden for local governments, a win for both our neighbors and our towns."

"This funding will be an enormous help to cash-strapped local governments and school districts," said Assemblymember Donna Lupardo. "This will save taxpayers money and help the flood recovery efforts in the Southern Tier. We were able to pick up the local share of expenses not covered by FEMA after the flooding in 2006. I am grateful that this type of the assistance will be coming to our community once again."

"Hurricane Irene caused some of the worst local flooding recorded in recent history with damages that estimated over $1 million for the Mohawk Valley," Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said. "This federal aid will save local taxpayers from having to pick up the costs of rebuilding what was lost after Irene’s destruction. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s diligence in this matter, and look forward to the revitalization of our communities."

 

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