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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Waterford gets $3 million for efforts to deal with flood threat

Waterford gets $3 million for efforts to deal with flood threat

The village of Waterford received $3 million from the state for its post-Irene reconstruction plan,

The village of Waterford received $3 million from the state for its post-Irene reconstruction plan, and final recovery plans for Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties were presented during a NY Rising conference Wednesday.

Waterford got the $3 million in bonus funding for its use of technology in submitting its community reconstruction plan to the state.

Volunteers in Waterford created a geographic information system that they used to identify high-risk areas for potential damage from storms. Waterford plans to provide the software to other communities.

Waterford was one of eight communities that received funding under the Rising to the Top awards, which were given to areas that demonstrated specific achievements while drafting their proposals to rebuild after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program was launched last April and is funded by more then $600 million in federal funding through the Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery program. Reconstruction plans were submitted to the state last month.

Each community is eligible for between $3 million and $25 million of Community Development Block Grant funding to move forward with elements of their plans. The NY Rising program is also working with communities to identify other federal, state and local funding.

Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties suffered heavy damage from Tropical Storm Irene and Lee. The counties presented their plans for flood relief money during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction conference in Albany on Wednesday.

Among a list of projects in Schoharie County, the town of Middleburgh is looking to do work on Gorge Creek, which flooded and destroyed nearby homes. Middleburgh is also requesting $400,000 for work on Schoharie Creek and to reduce flooding risk.

The town of Schoharie is proposing to construct a new town garage away from the creek at an estimated cost of nearly $2 million and the town of Middleburgh is requesting $2.3 million to construct a new ambulance building and shelter.

“The NY Rising program has focused our town’s attention on what we need to do to minimize as much as possible the impacts from future flooding events,” said Jim Buzon, Middleburgh town supervisor. “It will allow us to study critical drainage areas to see how we can mitigate as much as possible the next event.”

Projects in Schenectady County include $1.2 million to build a berm around the city’s wastewater treatment plant to protect it from flooding and construction of a tunnel for Rotterdam Junction to serve as a culvert for stormwater runoff and as a bike trail, at a cost a total of nearly $3 million.

Some proposed projects in Montgomery County include $1.4 million to restore Dove Creek in Amsterdam and renovations to St. Mary’s Hospital. Another project aims to remove the Old Reservoir Dam and repair Bunn Creek Bypass for $1.1 million.

“Montgomery County is defined by our waterways,” said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort. “In recent years, we’ve experienced devastating floods and it’s imperative that we focus not only on recovery, but resiliency moving forward.”

View a full list of proposed projects in the Capital Region at www.stormrecovery.ny.gov. The projects are undergoing federal review, and funding amounts are expected to be announced in a few months. It’s unclear when the money will be awarded, however.

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