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What you need to know for 05/24/2017

Rotterdam Junction homeowners to benefit from $200K grant

Rotterdam Junction homeowners to benefit from $200K grant

Area severely impacted by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee
Rotterdam Junction homeowners to benefit from $200K grant
Iroquois Street in Rotterdam Junction was flooded in 2011.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

Flood-damaged homes in Rotterdam Junction will benefit from a $200,000 grant awarded to the regional land bank by the state Housing Trust Fund Corp., officials announced Thursday.

The money will be used to improve four owner-occupied homes in the area, which was severely impacted by flooding from Hurricane Irene in 2011, and a week later by Tropical Storm Lee. The money is being distributed through the Capital Region Land Bank.

"This area was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irene, and this grant will help us renovate homes, which is the core mission of the land bank," said Schenectady County Legislator Richard Ruzzo, D-Schenectady, chairman of the Capital Region Land Bank.

Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone said he was thankful for the funding, since Rotterdam Junction continues to recover more than five years after the Mohawk River surged through the hamlet. A number of houses have been repaired, but others have been abandoned, and still others taken by banks in foreclosures.

"There are a couple of streets where the houses are gone," Tommasone said. "It's a beautiful area of the town with the river and the mountains, but they're definitely still recovering."

In December, the state Office of Storm Recovery awarded a $1.5 million grant to expand the Rotterdam Junction Fire Department's emergency response capacities. The station was an improvised emergency shelter in 2011.

Tommasone said he's grateful for the state's help with both projects.

People interested in applying for the land bank funding must meet low- or moderate-income guidelines, and own the house they live in and want to repair. They are asked to contact the Community Land Trust of Schenectady at 372-7616.

Land bank money earlier helped clean up two abandoned properties in Rotterdam Junction, where a number of properties were abandoned after the storm.

In the last two months, the land bank has received grants totaling $2.35 million to improve neighborhoods in Schenectady and Amsterdam.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, swilliams@dailygazette.net or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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