Residents receive flood aid

Montgomery County residents affected by flooding this summer received 104 checks totaling about $1.4 million, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday.

The checks were among $13.6 million given to 1,206 homeowners, renters, businesses and farmers affected by the flooding across the Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Niagara County, a news release said.

According to the release, of that money, more than $900,000 was awarded to 67 homeowners, about $60,000 was given to 20 renters and almost $270,000 was given to 11 small business owners.

“In times of crisis, government should work for the people, and today I am proud to say we have,” Cuomo said in the news release. “A little over a month after announcing that the State would step in to provide the help the federal government didn’t, we are now sending checks to thousands of homeowners, renters, businesses and farmers who are still recovering from this summer’s floods.”

Local and state officials praised the governor for providing the much-needed aid to those that endured the devastating flooding in late June.

“He lived up to his promise to me that he would help us through these tough times, and he is very honorable to his word,” Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton said this morning. “I hope he continues anything that will help our area and get us back onto better roads and through these tough times.”

Barton said the money will help but won’t alleviate the burden the village and residents are still facing.

The village is “progressing well” and continues to work on the Otsquago Creek to prevent a future disaster, although the area is still in a state of emergency until Sept. 28, Barton said.

He said even though it has been months since the flooding happened, volunteers continue to show up in the village to help homeowners pick up the pieces.

“Today, New York state has delivered on our commitment by providing $1.4 million to Montgomery County homeowners, farmers and business owners to help offset some of the financial burden caused by the devastating floods. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll continue to working to ensure that we rebuild our community stronger and better than before,” said state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who represents Montgomery County. “In addition, I am sponsoring legislation to provide real property tax relief to taxpayers in eligible counties where flooding caused significant damage to their property. This measure would provide some relief to a number of home and property owners still struggling to rebuild and repair the damage to their properties.”

This was the latest action taken by the governor as part of the comprehensive assistance and delivery of aid to help the communities devastated by flooding this summer rebuild, recover and prepare for future disasters.

After FEMA’s decision to deny recovery funding to homeowners, Cuomo announced the launch of the Mohawk Valley and 2013 Upstate Flood Recovery Program to allow residents whose homes were damaged to receive aid.

The governor also launched the New York Rising Communities Reconstruction program, which will deliver a total of $6 million to counties hit by summer flooding.