Flood commission meeting at MCS June 17

By Geoff Samuels
An important “open house” meeting of the East Branch Flood Commission will be held this coming Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Margaretville Central School.

According to Marjorie Miller, chair of the commission, this special meeting has been organized in order to reach out to the public with news about various flood mitigation activities that will be taking place in the area this summer, and to inform citizens about the new Community Development Block Grants that are available to area businesses and residents as well as non-profit organizations who still suffer from flood related issues.

New York State, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will be making additional grant money available to area businesses and residents under both the New York Small Business Storm Recovery Program and the Recreate NY Smart Home Program.

Miller stated at last month’s Flood Commission meeting that $3 million will be made available to the towns of Middletown and Sydney on a shared basis to help small businesses and residents who were previously unable to qualify for financial aid from FEMA, or from their insurance companies. In many cases, the lack of initial aid was due to the fact that some properties had not suffered the fifty percent or more flood damage that was required in order to receive aid.

Miller also said that there will be a committee at Monday’s meeting to help people through the application process for these grants. “If we can really assist our businesses and residents in getting this application in,” said Miller, “that would certainly help move things forward.”

Both computer labs at MCS will be open and volunteers will be on hand to help applicants register for available funds. Meeting attendees are also reminded that they should bring with them any paperwork regarding losses from Hurricane Irene including: estimates for work needing to be done, receipts for work already done, inventories of lost furniture or equipment, as well as photographs of damaged structures etc. These items will be very helpful in making the process filing a grant form successful.

Further information about these grants can also be found at the Empire State Development website at www.esd.ny.gov/StormRecovery.asp. Be sure to click on the “Program Fact Sheet” link at the bottom of the page.

Updates from
local officials
Public Works Commissioner for Delaware County Wayne Reynolds will be on hand to answer questions and update Fleischmanns residents on bridge issues with an artist renderings of what the new walking bridges could look like. Graydon Dutcher of Delaware County Soil and Water will also be there with updates on various stream bank repair projects that are to be completed this summer.

Miller stated in a phone interview with the News that many other invitations have been sent to area supervisors and officials, as well as to State Senator James Seward and Assemblyman Peter Lopez.