Gov. Cuomo announced the approval of $1.8 million from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to help the Village of Saranac Lake rebuild their municipal sewage treatment plant and better protect it from future damage. “This vital funding will allow the Village of Saranac Lake, which has seen firsthand the damage that can be caused by extreme weather, to strengthen its infrastructure and build back better than before.” Gov. Cuomo said. “I’m proud to have worked with our federal and local partners to advocate for the approval of these funds and to make it a reality.”
The northeast section of the Town of Saranac Lake, suffered the most damage as a result of storms, flooding, tornadoes and straight line winds that occurred during 2011. This funding will repair and restore several elements of the town’s sewage treatment plant that were damaged as a direct result of the storm including clarifiers, critical upgrades and elevating vital controls to protect against future storm damage. The estimated repair and restoration costs for this project are $2.4 million, with FEMA covering 75% of the cost, New York State at 12.5% and the Village of Saranac Lake paying the remaining 12%.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This is great news for the Village of Saranac Lake. Storms have devastated communities throughout New York and Saranac Lake was hit hard. Homes, schools and businesses suffered unprecedented damage and the federal government has an obligation to make these investments so communities can continue to recover and rebuild.”
The FEMA Public Assistance program provides assistance to state, local, tribal and certain non-profit organizations recover after a disaster has been declared by the President. The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has paid over $30 million in FEMA Public Assistance monies to state and local governments and non-profits that were impacted by this storm.
Back in September 2014, NYRWA held two training events, one in New Hampton and another in Cobleskill with assistance from USEPA on Flood Resiliency for Small and Medium Water and Wastewater Systems. The USEPA has developed a tool, Flood Resilience – A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities, to help utilities become more resilient to flooding. The guide includes resources for systems to assess their utility and improve flood resilience, in addition to determining possible ways to approach mitigation and a plan to implement and pay for mitigation measures. More information on this guide and many other tools are available on the USEPA website.