WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Governor allocates money to shoreline property owners

Aug 8, 2019
Originally published on August 8, 2019 9:52 am

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made an announcement about Lake Ontario homeowners Wednesday on WXXI’s Connections, saying some money from the resiliency development plan will go to private homeowners.

The governor announced a plan to build back the lakefront in a more resilient way in May. When he did, he said the state was looking to fund large-scale, big-picture projects to protect the lakeshore from flooding and high water levels.

But Cuomo said they’ve had to adjust that plan to meet some of the concerns of people living on the shore.

"The residential homes that are subject to flooding need help," he said.

The Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative -- or REDI -- Commission is setting aside $20 million to help single-family residences. But Cuomo said this money won’t be used to help people on a case-by-case basis.

"The local community has to work with the residential community to put together a critical mass of homes where we can actually put in a physical barrier that will work," he said.

Cuomo said the commission will prioritize projects based on feasibility and efficiency.

Two area town supervisors said the $20 million announced by Cuomo will help some of their constituents.

Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich said the money will help some of the residents in his town still recovering from the flood damage of 2017.

“Some of the homeowners had not received the fund from (2017), whether they missed the deadline or some technicality,” Reilich said. "Also, there’s some additional damage to some of the homeowners with the events that happened in (2019), so I think this is welcome to all the residents along the shore."

Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley said he believes the money being set aside for individual homeowners came about partly as a response to feedback from elected officials.

“I can’t tell you how many residents I know that put up breakwalls, repaired damage to their properties, so it’s a good program and I’m glad that it will have additional resources with this new funding,” Seeley said.

Town officials are also looking for help with the larger infrastructure projects to help deal with future flooding.

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