Whitesboro, N.Y. - With word that rain is on its way this weekend, many homeowners in the flood prone area off of Main Street in Whitesboro start to get nervous, but now there's word there may be help on the way in terms of a possible FEMA buyout that may make them feel a little bit better, or at least a little more positive about the future.
Whitesboro Mayor Bob Friedlander has scheduled a meeting for Monday night at 6:00 to find out which homeowners would like to be included on an application to FEMA for possible buyouts.
Friedlander says now that President Trump has declared the portions of New York State that severely flooded during last year's Halloween flooding, a disaster area, there is some federal money set aside just for buyouts.
Friedlander says because there are so many homeowners that have been affected by the flooding last Halloween, the meeting is going to be outdoors at the Village Green on Main Street, "The application has to be submitted back into the hands of New York State by September 30th and with September 1st right around the corner next week, we don’t want to drag our feet."
Friedlander says once the application is sent in, that's it, no one else can be added, "I was told if we list 100 houses, we can’t add 20 more six months down the road. If we list 100 houses and 80 want to back out, then that’s their option but whatever we submit is what they’re going to go with. If we submit for 60 houses, they’re going to put us in for a grant for 60 houses, not 62 houses."
The Village of Whitesboro sits in the Town of Whitestown, and Whitestown Town Supervisor Shaun Kaleta sent out an update letter this week to flood prone residents informing them of the progress being made as far as flood mitigation goes, but Kaleta says the letter also mentions the possibility of buyouts, "There are some other opportunities at the federal and state level and we’ve been looking at all of those and working on those very carefully. So again, I am very hopeful and optimistic. I think it’s a good start that the Village of Whitesboro is going to be putting together a letter of intent for FEMA'S Hazard Mitigation Grant Program which just announced $3.7 million in available funding for buyouts, but that's statewide. We realize that if we’re going to solve this problem and getting the money that we’re going to need for buyouts, we’re going to need more than 3.7 million but again it’s a good start."
Friedlander is urging all homeowners in the Village of Whitesoro that sustained flooding during last Halloween's flood to attend Monday's meeting at 6:00 P.M. at the Village Green on Main Street.