Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 9:27:29 AM

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Cuomo Pledges Millions for Flood Recovery

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

Local municipalities hit hard by flooding in 2011 have eight months to put together plans for long-term recovery and rebuilding. Those plans could means millions, including three million apiece for Binghamton, Conklin, Vestal, and Johnson City, and over $3.6 million for the Town of Union.

"Rather than have Albany and the state government sit around and tell communities what to do we're taking a different approach. And we're asking the communities themselves to come up with a plan," said Cuomo.

102 communities are eligible to share more than $500 million that made it's way to the state from the federal government as part of the Hurricane Sandy recovery legislation. Some municipalities could see even more money as there is also $250 million available from the state's FEMA-funded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

"These projects have to be approved by the (state) panel so they want to make sure they're doing good projects. And I think they will because this is the first time this kind of money has been dumped in our area for flood mitigation," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.

"We're all going to work together as one and present as a regional. It's a benefit for our area financially in qualifying for the money. There's no boundaries when the water is coming at you so if we all work together it's safety for everyone," said Town of Union Supervisor Rose Sotak.

Grant amounts will be based on FEMA assessed damage levels as well as applications for new for new infrastructure and other mitigation efforts. In Tioga County, the Towns and Villages of both Nichols and Owego are eligible for up to $3,000,000 apiece.

"Hopefully there can be a silver lining to Irene and Lee and everything we went through, that we actually learned and improved the situation," said Cuomo.

****In Vestal, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****

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