Senator Farley Appeals To Governor Pataki And Federal Representatives For Aide For Flood Stricken Montgomery And Schenectady Counties

 

The following are correspondences Senator Farley had with Governor Pataki and Senator Schumer about the floods in Montgomery and Schenectady Counties

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The Honorable George E. Pataki
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber, State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Dear George:

Thank you for your timely declaration of a State Disaster Emergency in Montgomery County. Your rapid action brought emergency crews and equipment who, hopefully, will be able to prevent any loss of life in our area.

Once the immediate evacuation and rescue operation has been completed, we will need to turn to restoring the daily lives and livelihoods of people in these communities, as well as in areas of adjacent Fulton and Schenectady Counties. Unfortunately, many of the people and businesses hard-hit by the flooding were already in precarious circumstances because of the difficult economic conditions in the Mohawk Valley.

The villages along the Mohawk River were devastated by the flooding, there has been damage in the Cities of Amsterdam, Gloversville, and Johnstown, and Montgomery County has incurred major damage to public buildings including apparent loss of the entire County data processing and printing operation. As I write this, floodwaters are still rising inside the County Highway Department garage.

Local employers also face significant losses. Many "Main Street" small businesses have been wiped out, losing their entire inventories. Reports indicate that Beech-Nut's Canajoharie plant, not only a major employer but also a major purchaser of local agricultural products, has been flooded. Last week, Beech-Nut's new owners (a European conglomerate) informed ESDC of cost comparisons suggesting a possible move out of state. Damage to the plant could make this terrible prospect more likely.

Just as you moved rapidly to prevent loss of life, I am asking you to move rapidly to ensure the recovery of the local economy, of public services, and of affected private property. Please direct the appropriate State agencies to reach out to local officials, local businesses, and local residents with the resources to get their lives back to normal.

As always, George, best personal regards.

Cordially,

Hugh T. Farley
Senator

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The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
420 Leo O'Brien Federal Building
Albany, New York 12207

Dear Senator Schumer:

I am writing to you about the Beech-Nut plant in Canajoharie. You saved this significant local employer a few years ago, and I hope that you may be able to save it again.

As you know, last week Beech-Nut's new owners suggested that, unless they receive a significant level of public assistance in an upgrade of their local facility, they may contemplate alternative locations in the south or in Europe.

Just as we all began work on this issue, the Canajoharie plant was hit by this week's Mohawk River floods. Although it is too early to assess damage, clearly any loss of production capacity could affect the decision to stay in New York. Conversely, the disaster might create an opportunity to access funds to restore and upgrade the facility.

I know that everyone directly and indirectly affected by Beech-Nut's fortunes -- and this includes just about everybody in the Mohawk Valley -- is grateful for all that you have done to keep the company here. I hope that you may be able to obtain appropriate federal assistance to overcome this tremendous blow, and to help the company stay and grow in Canajoharie.

As always, best personal regards.

Cordially,

Hugh T. Farley
Senator