Cuomo signs $55 million Lake Ontario relief package into law

Provided photo: Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson, left, joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo and officials from Niagara County at a ceremonial signing for a $55 million relief package for Lake Ontario flood victims.

Posted 6 July 2017 at 4:18 pm

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt

WILSON – State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) today announced the agreement to provide $55 million in relief for individuals and municipalities impacted by flooding along Lake Ontario has been enacted into law. Governor Andrew Cuomo ceremoniously signed the bill this afternoon at the Sunset Bar & Grill in Wilson.

The bill was part of a package of measures that lawmakers passed during an extraordinary session in Albany last Thursday.

“I’m proud both houses of the legislature were able to work together to provide much needed relief to families, and I applaud Governor Cuomo for enacting this bill into law,” Ortt said. “The visible damage to Sunset Grill and its marina is a microcosm of what’s been happening along the entire Lake Ontario shoreline. This state aid underscores the importance of working together on both sides of the aisle to deliver resources to communities, businesses, and families in dire need of relief. Those who have suffered property damage and have been burdened by the devastation will finally receive the help they need to rebuild and move forward.”

The measure (A40001) provides $15 million for eligible homeowners who can receive up to a $50,000 grant for repairs. The grants cover repairs to structures, equipment, and other storm-related costs not covered under insurance or an existing local, state, or federal recovery program. For primary homeowners, there is no income cap to receive state aid. For non-primary homeowners, there is an income cap of $275,000.

Another $15 million is set aside for small businesses, farms, homeowners associations and not-for-profits, which are eligible for up to $50,000 in grants. Owners of multiple residences are eligible to receive up to $20,000.

A total of $15 million in grants is also available for municipalities that have suffered damage. This includes repairs to roads, bridges, drinking water systems, sewers, and can be used for flood mitigation equipment, construction or stabilization projects. A maximum of $1 million is available for repairs, along with a $500,000 cap on flood mitigation.

There is also $10 million available for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties, which sustained wind damage from a 2015 storm.

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