Herkimer Officials Discuss NY Rising Grant
By Donna Thompson
March 25, 2014
Herkimer Officials Offer Input on Flood Projects
Some of the damage from last year’s June and July floods was on display during an open house Monday at Herkimer College.
How much of it can be repaired with the $3 million the state has allocated for the county under the New York Rising program remains to be seen.
“We have $3 million now and we’ll stretch it as far as we can,” said Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono. “But we’re looking at more than $20 million worth of projects.”
He pointed out one bridge project alone could cost about $1.1 million.
A committee has been named to consider the proposals and was scheduled to meet Tuesday morning.
“They’ll probably prioritize the projects and send their recommendations to the state for review,” Bono said. “The state will decide what will be done and whether some will be fully or partially funded.”
He added county officials hope there will be more funding in the future to address long-term goals and projects.
“What happened last year was an anomaly,” said Bono. “We had 15 inches of rain in a few days and no engineering could have prevented flooding. We’re hoping we can help lower the severity in the future.”
Those who attended Monday’s event were invited to view a presentation outlining the process and maps of the area. They also had the opportunity to suggest additional projects for consideration.
Proposed recovery projects outlined on display boards included Gulf Road bank repairs and stabilization in the town of Winfield, Newport-Gray Road stream bank protection in the town of Norway, Timmerman Road ditch repair and Dockey Road bridge replacement in the town of Manheim, bank repair in the town of German Flatts, debris removal cleaning and stabilization of the Cemetery Creek headwaters in the city of Little Falls, access road repair in the village of Frankfort and Poland washout transmission line repair for the village of Herkimer.
The village of Mohawk has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance to pay the 25 percent share to repair its electrical substation, which was flooded with 8 to 10 feet of water last summer. The village is requesting funds to cover the 25 percent cost share FEMA requires.
The village of Frankfort is making the same request for its proposed Lehman Park Embankment Repair project.
David Berg, of Cameron Engineering, said local officials were being asked to review the maps of the county and add any important assets in their community that flooded or should be protected from future flooding.
“The people who live in these areas would know about historic homes or apartment complexes,” said Berg, who said representatives of Cameron Engineering are serving as technical resources in the project.
He said additional meetings will be scheduled.
Schwartz said the Red Cross works with partner agencies including the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, as well as government and faith-based groups to respond to and plan for disasters. The various organizations work together through a coalition called the Herkimer-Oneida Organizations Active in Disaster or HOOAD.
“Now we’re in the long-term recovery phase,” said Robin Robinson, who serves as vice chairman of the coalition. “Folks have already gone to their insurance companies and gone through the state process and received or didn’t receive help.”
“When that’s done, that’s where HOOAD comes in,” she said.
She noted the United Way, WKTV and Roser Communications collaborated to conduct a telethon to assist flood victims last year. The United Way raised close to $200,000 of which half went for immediate response through the Red Cross and Salvation Army with the rest designated for help with unmet needs in the two counties, working with Catholic Charities of Herkimer County and Catholic Charities of Oneida-Madison Counties, Robinson said.