After a long and worried wait, more flood relief money is coming to people who live and work on Lake Ontario. During a special session, state lawmakers have approved a $55 million grant program.
$15 million will go to homeowners, $15 million to small businesses and non-profits, and $15 million to local governments. There will be $10 million to additional storm recovery.
This is great news for many people that live along the lake shore that have their only focus on protecting their homes. “There’s no recreation going on on the lake. Nothing for summer going on,” said Joe Burio. Burgio has been on the lake for over 30 years, and the record water levels have trapped him in his house for the summer.
“We don’t know from day to day. we still have three feet of water in our basement, and I still have a fire mans pump running every twelve hours.
Normally Burgio has over 100 people over to his house on Fourth of July weekend to enjoy Lake Ontario, but that is not the case this year. All he has been doing over the past few months is trying to protect his home.”
In the first few weeks of June a state funding package came out to help flood victims. It offered a max of $40,000 per homeowner, but there were tight income restrictions. Now there is in the making something that will allow many more homeowners to get aid. Up to $50,000 in aid with a much higher limit of $275,000 in 2016 yearly income.
It is possible for someone to pick up $90,000. That is just enough for Burgio, and Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says things are finally falling the right way. “I’m very pleased with the new legislation,” said Reilich. “Talking to several senators after they passed it now and talking to the governors office he’s indicated that will be signed, so we can look forward to receiving it.”
Now he and others are looking to the federal level not only for more funding, but for assistance in preventing a future flooding like this. The portion of the bill covering storm recovery includes $2 million dollars for the towns of Irondequoit and Webster, which were hit hard by this year’s windstorm.