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July 19, 2013

Cuomo outlines aid for storm-hit communities

Staff and Wire Report
The Daily Star

---- — Seven local municipalities that suffered storm damage are among those slated to receive millions in federal aid to help rebuild and prepare. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo conducted a symposium Thursday with hundreds of local government officials and U.S. Housing and Urban Renewal Secretary Shaun Donovan to begin the “New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program,” which will include local officials as they try to find more effective ways to rebuild and improve their communities. He also announced the latest aid package to storm-struck communities. 

“The NY Rising Community Reconstruction program will empower localities to develop and implement recovery plans after the damage done by the devastating natural disasters to hit our state over the past two years,” Cuomo said in a media release. “This program recognizes that New York’s effort to build back better must be a two pronged approach with the state not only leading critical infrastructure and broad investment strategies but also providing localities the resources they need to invest in their own future. When we are done, we will have risen to the challenge of making our great state not only more resistant to future storms, but stronger, more prosperous, and more prepared for years to come.”

Cuomo’s announcement detailed $750 million in aid due to flow to more than 100 New York communities, including those hit by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy. 

Middleburgh, Schoharie, Prattsville, Margaretville, Sidney and the town and village of Esperance are to receive $3 million each. 

The largest awards in the package — up to $25 million each — went to coastal communities in the New York City area damaged by Sandy. 

The gathering follows tropical storms Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy last year as well as extensive flooding in the Mohawk Valley this year. The once rare storms touched nearly two-thirds of the state. 

According to the release, the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program will identify “New York Rising Communities” and task local officials with developing rebuilding and mitigation plans. Grant amounts will be based on FEMA assessed damage levels as well as applications for new infrastructure and other mitigation, and will be awarded once the community’s plan is complete and submitted to the State for approval. 

The communities will be eligible to share in more than $500 million of funding made available through the federal supplemental appropriation.