The New York State Senate majority recently pledged an additional $5 million in state and municipal facilities funding to bolster previous relief and provide necessary financial assistance to flood-stricken regions near Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
In addition to the influx of funds, lawmakers called on the governor to take the necessary steps to transfer $11 million currently in the commercial pool — and not being utilized — to assist residents affected by flooding, which is consistent with his executive budget proposal.
A historically wet spring in 2017 resulted in serious flood damage along Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and their tributaries. Properties eroded away, houses sustained significant damage, businesses were forced to close and infrastructure was destroyed.
“Many residents impacted by flooding last year are still in the process of rebuilding their homes and properties,” said State Sen. Pam Helming, R-54th District. “In anticipation for what could be another devastating year for lakeshore communities, we want to reassure local residents that we are committed to sustaining the state’s relief and recovery efforts by pledging this critical flood aid.”
Because of record floods in 2017, the Senate took action in shepherding the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Flood Relief and Recovery Grant program into law to promote economic recovery in the affected regions by providing a total of $45 million in relief for small businesses, farms, owners of multiple dwellings, owners of residences, nonprofit corporations and municipalities. Under this program, an additional $10 million was provided to Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties for damages sustained from severe storms and flood levels.
Other allocations in last year’s legislation included $15 million for homeowners, including up to $50,000 for all primary homeowners as well as nonprimary homeowners with income up to $275,000; $15 million for small businesses, farms, homeowner associations and nonprofits, including up to $50,000 for entities previously listed and up to $20,000 for owners of multiple dwellings; and $15 million for counties, cities, towns, villages and special districts, including up to $1 million for repairs and restoration of municipal infrastructure and systems and up to $500,000 for flood mitigation, construction of resiliency measures or flood.