ALBANY, NY – The state Senate has approved a bill that would reimburse communities in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties for the costs of damage repairs, personnel and other expenses incurred because of flooding caused by a 2015 storm.
“Communities suffered a significant financial burden in their local budgets from which they are still trying to recover,” said Sen. Catharine Young, the bill’s sponsor.
According to a press release from Young’s office, the July 2015 flooding caused extensive damage, but the resulting costs fell well below the $25 million threshold for federal reimbursement. The press release indicated that damages in Cattaraugus County totaled $1,016,047, and that the total in Allegany County was $1,600,840, and the Chautauqua County costs were $4,332,265.
“The state has a history of assuming the costs incurred by municipalities when the damage does not meet the requirements for federal aid through FEMA," said Young, who represents the Greater Olean area.
“This has been done for other areas of the state such as the victims of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee, and the same should be done now for our rural communities whose limited budgets aren’t able to address these types of extraordinary needs while also continuing to provide regularly scheduled work and services,” she said.
The Senate approved bill, S842-B, on June 7 and sent it to the Assembly for action.