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Hawley, Ortt push for more state funds for Lake Ontario property damages

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 January 2018 at 6:52 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Part of the shoreline on Lomond Shores in Kendall is shown last month. The high Lake Ontario waters and pounding waves chewed away big chucks of backyards last year, with the lake getting closer to many houses. Many residents are trying to put in new breakwalls.

The State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year approved $15 million for residents along Lake Ontario that suffered property damages.

Those funds have already been depleted, and more money is needed as part of the upcoming state budget, according to a letter from several state legislators to Gov. Cuomo.

“It is clear to us that although $15 million was a good start to help reimburse homeowners, unfortunately, it didn’t even scratch the surface,” wrote State Assemblyman Steve Hawley. “We need to get a clear understanding of the number of applications each of the not-for-profit housing organizations have approved and the dollar amount of damage. It is imperative that the funding for this program be increased to make good on the promise to make everyone whole!”

Hawley sent the letter today to Gov. Cuomo. Other legislators who signed it include Assembly members Michael Norris, Peter Lawrence, Angelo Mornello, Bob Oaks, William Barclay and Mark Johns, as well as State Senators Robert Ortt, Pamela Helming and Joe Robach.

In Orleans County alone about 500 people have been approved for funding for breakwalls and to fix other property damage. There 48 of those projects complete or under construction, according to PathStone, which is administering the program for the state in Orleans County.

Hawley and the state legislators said their offices field many calls from concerned residents who worry they won’t be reimbursed from the lake flooding.

The legislators asked Cuomo to determine how many projects need funding along the southshore and at what cost. The Legislature and governor should work to include the money in the 2018-19 state budget, according to the letter.

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