The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant will cover 75 percent of Delaware County’s project to buyout and tear down the properties in this flood-prone location, the release said.
“The double whammy of Irene and Lee damaged a lot of properties — and sometimes tearing down these blighted properties and opening up space is the best path forward for the community, especially when those properties are in a high flood-risk area,” Schumer said.
The funding is pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 404 and 44, the release said. Funds were previously awarded for this project on March 26, 2013, in the amount of $3,154,612 and on September 24, 2013, in the amount of $265,661.
Gillibrand said she feels Delaware County deserves the funding after enduring some of the “very worst of back-to-back extreme weather.” Flooding has cost the county farmland, crops, homes, businesses, roads and bridges, she said.
“This is an important investment that can go a long way in strengthening the resiliency of our communities, and preventing big costs down the road,” Gillibrand said. “In the place of flooded buildings, we will gain new green space in our community.”
After acquiring the properties and demolishing all structures, the county will fill any basements, place topsoil over the sites, grade and seed. The properties then will be turned over to the municipality to be maintained as open space.
Said Schumer: “I’m glad we could get federal funds behind Delaware County’s plan to take down these flood-prone structures, remove the black mark they put on the neighborhood and open up green space in their stead.”