Proposals for state aid eyed

Committees focused on repairing and bettering portions of Montgomery County affected by floods in recent years are working on proposals for state grants.

Two local committees have been established to help areas in Montgomery County damaged in flooding between 2011 and 2013.

The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, according to its website, has been established to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities severely damaged by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

To facilitate community redevelopment planning and the resilience of communities, $25 million has been allocated for planning in the most affected communities.

Mark Kilmer, president of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, said two committees have been established to help residents of Montgomery County. The first committee, chaired by Kilmer and Central Civico Executive Director Ladan Alomar, will cover the towns of Amsterdam and Florida, which were affected by 2011’s Hurricane Irene. Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dusty Swanger and Fulmont Community Action Agency Executive Director Denis Wilson will run a committee focusing on Fort Plain and Montgomery County.

According to Kilmer, his committee could earn up to $3 million per town in grant money, along with a possibility of a $3 million bonus if a plan is considered important enough.

Kilmer said the committee for Amsterdam and Florida has been working steadily on its proposals, and will be ready by their June filing date.

“Our committee has been in force and doing this since August,” Kilmer said.

While unable to share details regarding their plans, Kilmer said the committee has been meeting with the public to share what they are thinking about, and to get feedback.

Kilmer said some of the ideas included habitat changes, such as restructuring water flows on certain tributary rivers heading to the Mohawk River.

“Very, very soon we shall be coming out with a final plan,” Kilmer said.

Wilson said his committee has just started, with a meeting scheduled Thursday. While no set plans are in place, Wilson and Swanger both said the plan will be completed in time for the June filing.

“Once that’s done, we will make some official recommendations to the Governor’s Office and the Department of State,” Wilson said.

In August 2011, Hurricane Irene hit, leaving more than 20,000 homes and businesses without electricity and many without their homes due to flooding. Flooding closed parts of Routes 29, 67, 30 and 30A and Mohawk River crossings. The New York State Thruway also was closed, leaving traffic to be rerouted through Main Street in Johnstown.

In June 2013, much of the village of Fort Plain was damaged in flooding that originated from the Otsquago Creek, killing one and destroying many homes.