Localities eligible for reconstruction funding

Localities in Montgomery County are eligible to receive up to $3 million in state and federal aid to pay for rebuilding in communities affected by storms Irene and Lee in 2011.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Community Reconstruction Zones will help municipalities develop “comprehensive and innovative local rebuilding plans,” a news release issued Friday said.

“Communities across New York, from Long Island to Binghamton to Essex County, suffered incredible damage and loss from the wrath of the major storms that have hit our state over the past two years,” Cuomo said in the news release. “The Community Reconstruction Zone program we are launching today will empower localities to put together a team of local officials, residents and leaders who know their communities best to develop rebuilding plans that will guide the local recovery process. With the state’s assistance, these communities will identify their needs and risks, as well as identify ways to strengthen their resiliency for the future.”

In Montgomery County, the aid targets Amsterdam and the town of Florida, according to a news release.

Each community will convene a CRZ Planning Committee, made up of elected officials from the municipality and state Legislature, local residents and business owners. The state will conduct workshops to help the planning committees develop plans.

Grants will help pay for repairs to single-family and multifamily homes, and businesses.

Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer today was unsure how much work still needed to be done in the county as a result of the storms.

“I think the roads are pretty well taken care of,” Thayer said, but he was unsure about local structures.

The two storms caused massive flooding in low-lying areas in Montgomery County, damaging homes and businesses. The Mohawk River overflowed after receiving 18 inches of rain, causing flooding in Amsterdam and other parts of the county.

Guy Park Manor and businesses on Route 5 were damaged. The storm knocked out a wall at the manor, which at that time housed the Walter Elwood Museum.

National Grid reported it lost an electrical substation in Amsterdam due to the erosion of the Mohawk River’s banks.

About 400 poles, nearly 200 transformers and more than five miles of electrical wires were replaced after Irene.