On Monday, both Governor Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer were in town to talk about the Lake Ontario shoreline damage and to send a stern message to the group that manages the lake.
Cuomo announced New York state is giving $300 million to fund shoreline emergency and relief efforts. It’s part of the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, and local governments will match 15 percent for every dollar the state spends.
“Let’s make it more resilient, let’s make it more cost-effective long term, but let’s also make improvements that we haven’t made in decades because that is doable and it makes sense,” said Cuomo.
Senator Schumer is also focused on long term resiliency. He’s starting the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency study. The Army Corps of Engineers will study the lakefront over the next nine to 12 months, then use that data to figure out what the state and federal governments need to do to improve the shoreline.
“The loss of value to the homeowners of their property values, the loss of businesses the loss to the town of Greece, and to Sodus, and other communities cannot be repeated time and time again,” said Schumer.
Greece town supervisor Bill Reilich agreed.
“The sandbags are great for a short term solution but we can’t do this every single year, the homeowners can’t have their homes flooded every single year,” said Reilich.
Both Cuomo and Schumer also talked about the International Joint Commission. Cuomo said Plan 2014 isn’t working and Schumer said the IJC hasn’t done a good job.
Cuomo also said if the IJC doesn’t start responding to the needs of New Yorkers, he’ll sue them.
The IJC said this in response to Cuomo’s comments about its management plan called Plan 2014:
It is important to understand that 2014 did not cause the flood this year or in 2017, and did not make the flooding worse either year than it would have been under the previous regulation plan.