New York State Senate Republicans today announced the introduction of a bill creating a new Great Lakes Flood Recovery Grant Program that would help give needed financial assistance to those affected by this year’s record floods in the region. The measure (S6423) makes $55 million in grants available to property owners, businesses, farms, not-for profit corporations, municipalities, and counties affected by high water levels in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River.
This bill establishes a new grant program to promote economic recovery by allowing state financial resources to flow to small businesses, farms, owners of multiple dwellings, owners of residences, not-for profit corporations, and municipalities. Modeled after the highly successful program implemented after the statewide flooding from storms Irene and Lee in 2011, the program will help communities rebuild after this latest natural disaster.
The grant program would provide up to $20 million administered through the state’s Empire State Development Corporation to help with physical flood-related damage. Grant recipients could receive up to $15,500 for owners of residences, $30,000 for owners of multiple dwellings, $50,000 for small businesses and farms, and $100,000 for not-for-profit corporations for damage not covered under insurance or an existing local, state, or federal program.
Municipalities and special districts would be eligible for a total of $20 million in grants - up to $1 million each - for infrastructure spending caused by the flooding and high water levels and not already covered under existing funding programs. This could include roads, bridges and other transportation systems, drinking water supply systems, sanitary and/or storm sewer systems, levy and/or flood protection systems, and other municipal equipment. For other municipal costs that may not be eligible for that funding, an additional $10 million in grants would be made available by the state.
Counties would be eligible for a total of $5 million in new grants for flood mitigation or flood control projects costing at least $250,000, up to $500,000, and related to the recent Great Lakes water levels.
Senator Robach said, “All across the lakeshore of the 56th Senate District and along the Northern shore of our state, residents, businesses, and municipalities are struggling with the flooding caused by high water. I am proud to join with my Senate colleagues to support the Great Lakes Flood Recovery Grant Program, which would provide much needed fiscal assistance to those affected by the flooding along our state’s Northern waterways during this ongoing high-water situation. The residents we represent are looking to the state for help and I am glad the Senate is answering their call.”