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Local leaders push for more government flood aid

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local leaders from Oneida and Herkimer Counties traveled to Albany Wednesday for the New York Rising Spring Conference.   
 
Leaders from some of the state's most flood-ravaged communities shared the head table with the governor as they and their neighboring leaders presented their flood recovery plans to the governor, in hopes that the state aid to fund them would soon follow.  
 
For Herkimer County leaders, whose constituents still flounder, displaced and homeless, after last summer's severe flooding, the money from both the state and federal governments can't come soon enough.
      
"We still have people who have not gotten any FEMA money yet. I have one person in my district-her house was taken off the foundation. They have not contacted her as of my knowledge yet," said Herkimer County Legislator Robert Schrader, who traveled to Albany for the press conference. 
    
"Our finances are tight from the fact that we're not getting money back from FEMA which is affecting the budget at this time and what we have to do," said Herkimer Village Trustee Howard Stoffolano, illustrating that delayed aid has an impact at the municipal level, as well.
    
Herkimer County businesswoman Renee Scialdo Shavet is head of the Herkimer County chapter of New York Rising. She says that once the state and federal aid flow to communities, it must be spent wisely, keeping in mind that no amount of money can stop severe weather.
   
"Maybe we just don't rebuild what we already had but we build differently to make it work for us," said Scialdo Shavet.
    

Wednesday represented round one of local flood recovery plan presentations. Several localities still have to make their cases for $100 million in state aid.  Once all the plans are reviewed, the money will be distributed.  

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