SCIO - Faced with a threat to the motoring public and local communities along Route 19, Senator Catharine Young has secured a $750,000 state grant for the Genesee River Hazard Mitigation Project. The potential loss of life, property and infrastructure and communities along Route 19 in Belfast and Amity prompted Senator Young’s effort to ensure the grant was included in this year’s state budget as it was needed to serve as the match for the federal FEMA grant.
With its proximity to Route 19 in the Towns of Amity and Belfast, the erosion of the Genesee River has created a dangerous situation, where portions of the highway could potentially fall into the river at any time. Annual spring rains and storms cause frequent flooding along the Genesee and essential repairs must be made to ensure the public’s safety.
"Route 19 is the most highly traveled highway in Allegany county, even more than I-86," said Senator Young. "The erosion caused by the Genesee River has caused an immediate hazard for drivers in Amity and Belfast. Imagine the risks if we don’t act now. The potential for disaster is enormous."
"The grant I is a smart investment that is a match necessary to receive over $2 million in pre-disaster hazard mitigation funding to complete the project," said the Senator.
"We are very thankful to Senator Young for her diligence in obtaining the State funding necessary to go forward with the repair of the Genesee River erosion sites in the Towns of Amity and Belfast," said John Margeson, Allegany County Administrator. "Both of these sites are threatening the viability of New York State Route 19. If we were to lose the ability to travel State Route 19, even on a temporary basis, a major negative impact would be felt ranging from an adverse effect on our local economy to daily inconveniences for the motoring public. State Route 19 is the major north-south transportation corridor through Allegany County and thanks to Senator Young’s assistance the route will remain both open and safe."
"We appreciate the job that Senator Young did in obtaining the $730,000 for the hazard mitigation project," said Curtis Crandall, Chairman of the Allegany Board of Legislators. "State Route 19 is the major north-south corridor for Allegany county. Along with obvious safety concerns for travel, this project is vital for business and the economic health of Allegany county."
"The Allegany County Soil and Water Conservation District is excited that this project will stop the Genesee River from threatening destruction of NYS Route 19, which is the transportation backbone of Allegany County and the region," said Fred Sinclair, Executive Director of the Allegany County Soil & Water Conservation District. "The project has been two years in the making, including application to FEMA for Hazard Mitigation funding, assembling expertise and relying on support from federal, state and local officials the County Legislature and landowners."
"The project could not have moved forward without this $750,000 in match funding which Senator Young has spearheaded in Albany. Assemblymen Burling and Giglio fully supported this effort and Congressman Randy Kuhl maintained a vigilant eye on the progress with the FEMA funding," said Sinclair.