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August 19, 2013

Otsego, Chenango to get $55,000 in storm money

Staff and Wire Reports
The Daily Star

---- — Otsego and Chenango counties are slated to receive a total of more than $55,000 in state aid to repair damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the $1.7 million state funding package on Friday for 13 New York counties, cities and towns to help repair local roads and bridges damaged by the 2011 storms. According to the release, the additional funding means communities will only be responsible for paying five percent of overall costs to rebuild critical transportation infrastructure.

“By reducing infrastructure costs for upstate communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, we are lightening the financial burden on municipalities and ensuring that New Yorkers can continue to travel safely throughout the State,” Cuomo said in the release. “These storms caused damage that local governments are still recovering from today, and the state is committed to helping these counties, towns and cities throughout the repair process to build back better than ever before.”

The initiative helps bridge a funds gap for projects that are eligible for the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief program. The federal program covers 80 percent of costs for permanent repairs to federal-aid highways and bridges, leaving localities to fund the remaining 20 percent. The funding package announced Friday will reduce the local share to five percent of the cost of the repairs, according to the release. 

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald hailed the initiative, saying in the release that it will help municipalities around the state “maintain safety, mobility and quality of life.”

Under the program, Otsego County will receive $34,880 and Chenango County, $20,760. Also receiving funds were Schenectady, Rensselaer, Greene, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Essex and Tioga counties; the towns of Vestal and New Scotland; and Utica.