BY SENATOR PATTY RITCHIE
Today’s announcement of nearly $88 million dollars for Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego Counties is tremendous news for our shoreline communities that were severely damaged in the wake of this year’s record flooding.
The projects receiving funding—57 in all—will help our region not only recover, but also make it more attractive to visitors and new businesses. In addition, a $15 million regional dredging plan will also help to protect shorelines from rising water levels in the future.
There is more good news as well. The application process for homeowners to receive funding has now officially been opened up to seasonal residents, with a pot of up to $8 million dollars going to ensure that even more people will receive the help they need.
In addition, our local businesses, many of which have suffered significant damage as a result of this flooding, will now be eligible for grants—up to $200,000 each—through a new funding avenue called the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program. This funding will help businesses pay for improvements that will protect them from future flooding, or other weather events.
I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the importance of this investment, as well as Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones for their leadership on this issue.
To say that our shoreline communities have been through a lot following the record flooding of 2017 and 2019 would be an understatement. I look forward to seeing how these important projects help our region rebuild and come back stronger than ever.
Patricia A. Ritchie is a Republican member of the New York State Senate, representing the 48th district. She was first elected in 2011. The district encompasses portions of the North Country abutting Lake Ontario.