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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label NY Rising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NY Rising. Show all posts

Blenheim Moves Forward on NY Rising Projects

Written By Cicero on 3/4/15 | 3/4/15

BLENHEIM - Members of the Blenheim Town Board were informed Monday evening that the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program has entered its next stage, with the committee of citizens tasked with identifying potential work projects having finalized their work and transferred the program over to the municipality for completion.

Board members quickly agreed to go forward and pursue the top projects on the compiled list, which included constructing a new town hall, fire department, and town highway building outside of the flood plain zone, allowing the facilities to also serve as a command center and shelter if another natural disaster were to occur.

State representatives seemed optimistic that the projects would be approved by the state, Supervisor Shawn Smith told board members, and as a result the town has begun the process of submitting the applications required for final approval. 

The total amount of money awarded to the town of Blenheim is $3 million dollars, but in an abundance of caution the Town is only proceeding with the relocating of town facilities at this point to be sure that they do not overspend the allotted money.  

Stating that "The last thing we want to do is end up in a situation where were start a few projects and find out that we are over budget due to change orders or other unforeseen circumstances," Smith believed that another project could be possible if there is still money remaining in the grant after the initial projects are completed.

As the board discussed the project Smith recommended that he thought the requirements of managing a project this large would require more time and oversight than would be possible for the town board and Clerk to commit to.  

Smith indicated that he had been in contact with Shane Nickel at Schoharie County Planning and their office said they would be willing to serve as the sub recipient of the grant and aid in implementation of the project.  

Councilwoman Grabowski stated that she too “thought the scope of the project and federal reporting requirements were too cumbersome for the Town to handle on its own” and made a motion to authorize Schoharie County Planning to serve as the sub recipient of the grant.  The motion was seconded by Councilman Keyser and all voted in favor.  (Anne Mattice-Strauch and Joe Ward were excused from the meeting).  

While there is still one last level of approval, it is anticipated that the projects will be approved in the next month or two and the Town can then formally begin the projects.  

In other business, Blenheim town board members:
  • Discussed a resolution expressing the town's opposition and condemnation of eminent domain being used by pipeline companies. The resolution was introduced by Supervisor Smith, but it was tabled until the full board was present to discuss its language. 
  • Heard from Highway Superintendent David Mattice that  “despite us having a very tough winter we are lucky that all of our trucks and equipment have held up great, and as a result we have a very low repair bills this year.”  
  • Voted to change the date of its April town board meeting from Monday, April 6 to Tuesday, April 7 at 7pm. 

NY Rising Blenheim/Fulton Meeting Thursday

Written By Cicero on 11/4/14 | 11/4/14

A NY Rising Community Reconstruction joint meeting with the Towns of Fulton and Blenheim will take place on Thursday November 6, 2014 at the West Fulton Fire Station, 807 West Fulton Rd. from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend and hear about projects that are being discussed in your communities.

NY Rising to Host Blenheim/Fulton Meeting Thursday

Written By Editor on 7/28/14 | 7/28/14

With millions in state recovery monies soon to be dispersed to the Schoharie County municipalities of Esperance, Middleburgh and Schoharie, the Valley communities next in line for substantial aid are the Towns of Blenheim and Fulton. 

The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan is in its infancy for both townships, but progress is in the process of moving forward with two meetings scheduled on Thursday evening that the public from both municipalities can attend.

At 5:00 p.m. the NYRCR Planning Committee will host its second meeting where residents can learn more about the recovery organization and share their ideas. This will be followed by NYRCR's first two-hour long public engagement meeting. 

Both meetings will take place at the Blenheim Town Hall and Hose Company located on Route 30.

NY Rising Announces Over $280 Million in Payments to Flood Damaged Homes

Written By Editor on 3/14/14 | 3/14/14

The NY Rising Housing Recovery Program has distributed more than $280 million in payments to 6,388 homeowners for damages that resulted from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, or Tropical Storm Lee. Every eligible homeowner who applied by January 20 has been issued a check for home reconstruction. Over 4,650 Nassau residents have been issued rebuilding payments totaling over $201 million and over 1,350 Suffolk residents have been issued over $65 million in rebuilding payments. Additionally through its buyout and acquisition program, the State has made offers totaling over $293 million to purchase the homes of 709 homeowners.

The program began accepting applications in April 2013. The deadline to complete applications for NY Rising Housing Recovery assistance in counties outside NYC is April 11. (For point of reference, New Jersey closed its applications on September 30, 2013 and the City of New York, which operates an independent housing assistance program, closed to new applicants October 31, 2013.)

These deadlines do not affect homeowners already in the program, in process of receiving their award, or those seeking clarification of their award. The community buyout program in which neighborhoods can opt-in to have the state buy out their entire neighborhood will also close April 11.

The funds were made available through State’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Homeowners interested in applying may do so by calling 1-855-697-7263 or visiting

Opinion: Sophomoric Management Fails Valley Communities

Written By Editor on 1/15/14 | 1/15/14

Governor Cuomo's initial announcement of $12 million for four of Schoharie County's worst hit communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee seemed like a miracle for the Villages of Middleburgh and Schoharie and the Village and Town governments of Esperance. It offered a chance to not only further rebuild their communities, but to offer local incentives to small business, conduct stream remediation efforts and much more.

And then it didn't.
Rather than allowing the local municipalities to decide where the money would best be spent, as was originally intended, the NY Rising program was altered and local elected officials lost control of the funds and were left with only submitting ideas for consideration to the Community Reconstruction Program (CRP) committee. Even worse, funds no longer had to be earmarked for specific boundaries - meaning the end result could theoretically have all $12 million going into a single route 30 corridor wide project.

It would be unfair to everyone involved to not describe the state's poor handling of these funds as nonsensical, due primarily to the bind it places on local officials within their own communities by having them explain why "their money" might end up going to some other project. Not to mention the lets put it together as we go along mentality of the NY Rising program screams of sophomoric management by the governor's administration. There have been heroic efforts on the parts of the CRP Committee and Co-Chairs Georgia van Dyke and Sarah Goodrich to make sure that the money is well spent, but this in no way excuses the format of the program set up by the governor's office.

Now the Community Reconstruction Program is reportedly close to prioritizing projects for funding under the NY Rising Program and elected officials are preparing for the committee's next meeting on Thursday, January 23rd, 7pm at the Schoharie Town Hall (the 300) to weigh in on their communities specific priorities. Great, but the real question remains: will their last minute pleas make any difference?

At this point, we already know the answer to that.

All we can do is hope that the committee acts reasonably and that the state doesn't repeat its mistakes with the new $12 million in funding the Schoharie News exclusively reported has been awarded to the Towns of Blenheim, Fulton, Middleburgh and Schoharie. Once again, however, we probably already know the answer to that...

$12 Million in New Flood Recovery Money on its Way

Governor Cuomo's NY Rising Program, launched in August, has provided up to $12 million in total funding for projects in the Villages of Esperance, Middleburgh, and Schoharie and the Town of Esperance. Now, with more federal dollars headed to the state to fund other projects, there is word that the program will expand to cover other areas devastated by the 2011 flooding.

The program will expand into municipalities not covered by the initial burst of grant funding. According to a release from SALT Recovery, another $12 million will be added to a second round of funding-- for $24 million in total. According to the information, the Towns of Middleburgh, Blenheim, Fulton, and Schoharie will all be eligible for $3 million in grants each.

This expansion of funding was requested by the local governments and by the co-chairs of the existing local NY Rising Committee, Sarah Goodrich and Georgia van Dyke. According to a statement Goodrich released, "We believe that the needs of these towns, in addition to the villages, must be addressed and that the level of damage justified the additional funding. We are thrilled that our voices were heard, and with the expansion of the funding our request was honored."

The money will be sent to a NY Rising committee made up of local dignitaries and those suggested by the local municipalities. They will then work out a series of prosepctive projects for the NYS Department of State and the Governor's office to review. The committee will have to balance needs of recovery with emergency services, business development, housing issues, flood mitigation, and others that could come up.

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