State Legislators Sponsor Disaster Recovery Fund Bill
Observer-Dispatch Posted Dec 02, 2013 @ 11:25 AM
State legislators representing the Mohawk Valley and Niagara County have co-sponsored a bill that would create disaster recovery funding.
The bill — co-sponsored by state senators Hugh Farley, R-Schenectady, James Seward, R-Oneonta, George Maziarz, R-Newfane and David Valesky, D-Oneida — would create a supplemental fund to provide individual assistance, public assistance and hazard mitigation after natural or man-made disasters.
It would be available for a variety of disaster-related expenses including home repairs and medical expenses for individuals. Municipalities and public schools could also receive funding.
The bill also would require the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to establish a field office at the disaster site once it has been declared a disaster, and provide relief workers. The agency would also create a disaster recovery center and a toll-free phone number to help those affected apply for assistance.
This bill is the centerpiece of a six-point legislative plan by state senators in response to massive flooding last June. The Mohawk Valley and Niagara County sustained an estimated $87 million in flood damage between June 26 and July 3, the height of the storm and its devastating aftermath.