senate Bill S3508

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Authorizes the use of surplus funds from the greater Catskills flood remediation program by Ulster county

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to finance
Feb 24, 2011 referred to finance

Co-Sponsors

S3508 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Budget Bills
Laws Affected:
Amd Part NN ยง3, Chap 57 of 2008
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S6276

S3508 - Bill Texts

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Authorizes the use of surplus funds from the greater Catskills flood remediation program by Ulster county.

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BILL NUMBER:S3508

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend section 3 of part NN of chapter 57 of the laws of 2008 relating
to authorizing the New York state mortgage agency to transfer certain
moneys, in relation to the use of surplus funds from the greater
Catskills flood remediation program

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To authorize the purchase of homes near the New York City aqueducts
which are susceptible to flooding or water infiltration near the
leaking New York City owned aqueduct in Ulster County near the
Rondout Reservoir and, if funds are leftover, other flooded
properties in Ulster County.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Authorizes the use of remaining funds from the Greater Catskills Flood
remediation program (of which there are currently approximately $4
million in unused funds) to purchase homes within two miles of the
New York City Aqueducts in the County of Ulster. The homes must be
subject to water seepage and be under $250,000 in fair market value.
If there are any remaining funds after purchase of those homes, the
remaining funding may be utilized to purchase other flood prone homes
in Ulster County.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
The Catskills have been subject to substantial flooding over the last
several years. While various persons blame other persons for the
action, the reality is year in and year out, families were being
victimized by the flooding and lives were being lost. The Legislature
enacted the Greater Catskills Flood Remediation Program which
allocated $15 million to purchase homes where the owner was subject
to flooding. The time to apply for that funding and meet the
guidelines has expired. Dozens of homes have been bought out or are
under contract and expected to be bought out. There remains
approximately $4 million from the program available. The legislation
would reallocate that funding to Ulster County to purchase homes
which experience seepage near the leaking New York City aqueducts. If
there are any remaining funds after purchase of those homes, the
remaining funding may be utilized to purchase other flood prone homes
in Ulster County. Ulster County had received an initial allocation of
$2 million of the $15 million and those funds were expended, with
demand still existing for more flood buyout funds.

JUSTIFICATION:
Families in Wawarsing who live near the leaking New York City aqueduct
have seen substantial seepage into their basements. Families have
blamed the City of New York for that seepage due to the leaking
aqueduct. The City acknowledges that millions of gallons per day leak
from its aqueducts. While the City is taking steps to repair the
aqueducts, the repairs, if ever done, are not expected to take place
for years.

The DEP has done testing in terms of shutting off the water supply in
the aqueduct and a correlation has been shown that water rises and


falls when the water in the tunnel is or is not flowing. Still,
despite the correlation, other factors are also pointed to as a
potential culprit of the seepage. City officials have advised
Wawarsing area residents that they may file claims with the City
Comptroller's office - a timely and costly proceeding. The
reality is that litigating against the City is a substantial if not
overwhelming task for a homeowner, particularly when it comes to
proving cause and effect of leakage of an aqueduct hundreds of feet
below the ground.

During the past two years, City DEP staff have become substantially
more engaged with watershed residents to try and study the issue.
However, the long term solution put forth by the DEP will leave the
impacted families in Wawarsing in harms way for years to come.

The City of New York has previously indicated their support for State
flood buyout funds for families living near the aqueduct in
Wawarsing. This legislation seeks to put the question of whether or
not the City is actually responsible for the seepage aside, and use
the surplus funds from the Greater Cats kills Flood remediation
program to buyout property owners who live near the leaking aqueduct,
and who wish to sell their land. It does not seek to cast blame on
any individual, but rather offers a reasonable solution to an ongoing
problem that is damaging relationships between watershed communities
and upstate - and more importantly, is hurting people.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.6276 of 2009 was a similar bill passed Senate, Died in Assembly
Housing Committee. The difference between this bill and S.6276/2009
is that this bill authorizes any remaining funds, after the families
near the leaking aqueduct have an opportunity to have their homes
purchased, to be allocated to other flood prone properties in the
remainder of Ulster County. The prior bill did not authorize the
remaining funds to be used for other flood prone properties.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
No new funds are utilized. Rather, existing funds are being
redistributed since not all funds have been used.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3508

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 24, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend section 3 of part NN of chapter 57 of the laws  of  2008
  relating to authorizing the New York state mortgage agency to transfer
  certain  moneys,  in  relation  to  the  use of surplus funds from the
  greater Catskills flood remediation program

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section  3  of  part NN of chapter 57 of the laws of 2008
relating to authorizing the New York state mortgage agency  to  transfer
certain  moneys,  as  amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 2 of the
laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  S 3. (A) Within the amounts transferred to the corporation pursuant to
section one of this act for  the  greater  Catskills  flood  remediation
program,  the corporation shall provide funds to the counties of Broome,
Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer,  Montgomery,  Orange,  Otsego,  Schoharie,
Sullivan,  Tioga and Ulster, upon application by a county and within the
amounts available for disbursement to such county, to enable  the  coun-
ties  to  purchase  and  demolish one or two family homes that have been
certified by the local building inspector and county  emergency  manage-
ment  director,  to  the satisfaction of the corporation, as having been
subject to one or more incidents of flooding since April 1, 2004 and  as
likely  to  be  subject  to  a  future  flood  incident that would cause
substantial damage thereto. Any application by a county for disbursement
of funds under this act shall demonstrate, to the  satisfaction  of  the
corporation,  that: (1) the home is occupied as the primary residence of
an owner with a family income of up to one hundred fifty percent of  the
area median income as defined by the United States department of housing
and  urban  development,  provided,  however, that an otherwise eligible
home shall be eligible for purchase under this act if the current  owner
can  demonstrate that the home was occupied as the owner's primary resi-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01907-02-1

S. 3508                             2

dence prior to a flood event that rendered the home unsuitable for habi-
tation; (2) the current appraised value of the home does not exceed  two
hundred  fifty thousand dollars and the purchase price for the home will
not  exceed the appraised value less the amount of any property casualty
insurance or disaster relief payments received by the owner  as  compen-
sation  for  damage incurred in a flood incident; (3) all recorded liens
or other encumbrances on the home will be released at closing;  (4)  the
county provides assurances that the home will be condemned and the prop-
erty  will  be  dedicated and maintained in perpetuity for a use that is
compatible with open space, recreational, flood mitigation  or  wetlands
management  practices; and (5) disbursements under this section shall be
limited to the costs of acquisition of eligible homes, including  legal,
appraisal, recording and other transaction costs, and the costs of demo-
lition.    In  selecting  homes  for purchase pursuant to this act, each
county shall give preference to homes with a current appraised value  of
less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars and to homes that have been
subject  to  two  or more incidents of flooding since April 1, 2004. The
corporation shall establish policies and procedures consistent with this
section, which shall include county reporting  requirements,  and  shall
report to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, the temporary pres-
ident of the senate and the director of the division of the budget on or
before  December  31, 2008 regarding the implementation of this section.
Of the amounts transferred to the corporation pursuant to section one of
this act, the amounts disbursed to counties  pursuant  to  this  section
shall  not  exceed  the  following  amounts: Broome, $750,000; Chenango,
$750,000;  Delaware,   $2,000,000;   Herkimer,   $750,000;   Montgomery,
$750,000;  Orange,  $2,000,000;  Otsego,  $750,000; Schoharie, $750,000;
Sullivan, $3,750,000; Tioga, $750,000; and Ulster, $2,000,000.
  (B) ANY FUNDS NOT UNDER CONTRACT OR GRANT AGREEMENT BETWEEN ANY COUNTY
PROVIDED FOR BY THIS SECTION AND THE STATE OF NEW YORK  OR  ANY  OF  ITS
DIVISIONS OR AGENCIES ON OR BY JANUARY 1, 2010 MAY BE USED, UPON A FIND-
ING  BY THE CORPORATION THAT SUCH FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE, BY ULSTER COUNTY,
WHETHER THE FUNDS ARE ALLOCATED TO SUCH  COUNTY  OR  TO  ANOTHER  COUNTY
UNDER  THIS PROGRAM, TO PURCHASE HOMES WHICH OTHERWISE MEET THE REQUIRE-
MENTS OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS  SECTION  AND  ARE  IN  ULSTER  COUNTY,
AND/OR  OTHERWISE PURCHASE HOMES WHICH ARE VALUED AT UNDER $250,000 UPON
A FINDING BY THE CORPORATION THAT: (1) THE HOMES HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED  TO
SEEPAGE  OF  WATER INTO THE HOMES EITHER THROUGH THE WALLS OR FOUNDATION
OF SUCH HOME OR WATER OTHERWISE ENTERS INTO THE HOME OTHER THAN  THROUGH
PIPES  INTENDED FOR SUCH PURPOSE AND (2) THE HOME IS SITUATED WITHIN TWO
MILES OF AN UNDERGROUND AQUEDUCT OWNED, MAINTAINED OR  OPERATED  BY  THE
CITY  OF NEW YORK OR ANY BOARD, AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU THEREOF AND
IS USED FOR THE TRANSPORT OF DRINKING WATER TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK. THE
REQUIREMENTS ENUMERATED IN PARAGRAPHS ONE THROUGH  FIVE  OF  SUBDIVISION
(A)  OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY, PROVIDED, HOWEVER THAT NOTWITHSTANDING
THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH ONE OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION, NO
PERSON OR PERSONS WHO OTHERWISE MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS  SUBDIVI-
SION SHALL BE EXCLUDED ON THE BASIS OF INCOME AND IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED
THAT  THE COSTS OF DEMOLITION OF ANY HOME PURCHASED THROUGH THIS SECTION
ARE AN ELIGIBLE COST.   IN  MAKING  DETERMINATIONS  OF  WHICH  HOMES  TO
PURCHASE,  THE COUNTY SHALL FIRST SEEK TO EXPEND FUNDS TO PURCHASE THOSE
HOMES WHICH MEET THE REQUIREMENTS ENUMERATED IN PARAGRAPHS ONE  AND  TWO
OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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