Picente Announces Additional Funds Available For Housing, Business and Infrastructure Damage Caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr.  announced today that new resources have been made available by state government, which has been working in partnership with local governments to address the damage caused this summer by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

“The damage caused by these storms was extensive, and although many weeks have passed, I know that families and communities impacted by these storms continue to feel the impacts. From the day when the severe flooding and other damage struck, I have been urging our state and federal governments to provide all possible assistance,” Picente said. “I want to announce that Gov. Cuomo has made some additional assistance available, and I encourage anyone who is eligible for assistance to investigate this funding so that they can receive any support that is rightfully theirs.”

Picente said the new assistance includes the following:

1.      Up to $3 million will be made available to Main Street businesses in some of the hardest hit areas with money from the New York State Agricultural and Community Recovery Fund, a $15 million fund set up in September to help rebuild from the storms. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for assistance to, among other things; rehabilitate buildings for commercial and main street residential use, repair and replace permanent fixtures and equipment, as well as for inventory and working capital. The funding will be administered by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) in collaboration with county economic development offices.

2.      Also, $5 million in funding is being made available to help repair and replace furnaces damaged as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Funding will provide help to homeowners for their primary and/or permanent residence in the 34 counties that have been declared eligible for disaster assistance and any that are subsequently added by the federal government. Oneida County is among those covered. The funding is made available through collaboration between New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Up to $6,000 per applicant is available to households that qualify. Work will include repair or replacement of the furnace, boiler or hot-water heater as well as repair or replacement of duct work, fuel tanks, venting systems, or other items essential to the safe operation of the heating system. Assistance is limited to single-family homes and duplexes. Households cannot have liquid resources exceeding $5,000 and must meet certain income eligibility guidelines, which can be found at http://nysdhcr.gov/Programs/WeatherizationAssistance/   To apply, homeowners should directly contact the Weatherization Assistance provider that serves their area. A list of providers can be found at: http://nysdhcr.gov/Apps/profiles/profile_WAPcnty.asp

3.      Also, funds are still available for municipalities that suffered damage to their water systems during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The funds are available through the Environmental Facility Corporation's Hurricane Emergency Loan Program (HELP). Expenses for repairs to pump stations, electrical equipment, treatment facilities and other critical equipment, temporary emergency services such as vacuum truck hauling, bypass pumping and disinfection and related engineering and other professional services are examples that may be eligible for EFC financial assistance. HELP loans can be repaid with FEMA funds or converted by EFC into a long-term loan. Applications may be submitted through December 31, 2011.