State Senate, Assembly approve more Lake Ontario flood relief funds

Lawmakers approved legislation Monday that would provide $90 million aid for homeowners, businesses and local communities impacted by flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline and area waterways.

The “Great Lake Flood Recovery and Mitigation Relief Act,” cosponsored by Sen. Patty Richie (R-Oswegatchie) and Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne (D-Theresa) passed both legislative chambers Monday and provides grants up to $100,000 for homes and businesses affected by this spring’s record flooding.

The bill also provides local governments and school districts special permission to cut property tax bills for affected property owners, a measure modeled after separate legislation introduced by Ritchie, which had already passed in the Senate.

“Across my district, there have been significant costs to property owners, homeowners’ associations, municipalities and business owners due to the severe flooding. For communities like the Town of Webster, this legislation will provide funding for not only flooding damages but also damages associated with the recent severe windstorm,” explained Sen. Pam Helming. “Local governments are working tirelessly to assist their communities and neighbors as best as they can. Given all the hardships these communities face, this critical legislation will establish a grant program that will allow direct relief to flow to those affected and take some of the burden and pressure off local municipalities. I want to thank all of my colleagues in the Senate for their support and speedy passage of this vitally important legislation.”

The new program allocates $15 million for homeowners, $25 million for businesses, farms and nonprofits and $25 million for local municipalities.

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