After Repeated Pushes By Schumer, Feds Announce Nearly $2 Million In Funds To Jump Start Sidney’s “Green Plain” Project; Senator Says Project Will Reduce Future Flood Damage For Businesses And Families In Delaware County
Village Of Sidney In Delaware County Will Use Funds To Begin Phase I Of Flood Mitigation Project To Protect Community From Future Damage Following Storms
Schumer: FEMA Heeds Call To Protect Delaware County Residents
After years of advocacy from U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) will invest $1,949,300 in federal funding for the “Sidney Green Plain” project that will help mitigate flooding risk in the community. The Green Plain will create 100+ acres of green space used for storm water storage where the Lower River Street Neighborhood, which is at constant risk for flooding, stands now. Schumer announced the funding after he made a personal phone call to FEMA Administrator Fugate last month, urging him to issue the final approvals needed for the project to move forward. The funding, which will be used for Phase 1 design work for the project, was allocated through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
“This investment will finally bring relief to Delaware County residents by creating a new Sidney Green Plain in the high risk flood zone and developing new protections against future flooding,” said Senator Schumer. “Twice in five years the community was hit with unprecedented flooding, leaving residents to watch helplessly as their homes were overrun by devastating floods. This unsustainable vulnerability needed to end- which is why I pushed FEMA so hard to make this project a priority, and it’s why I will continue to push to ensure Sidney receives the next tranche of funding that they will need to complete the project. I have seen too many projects get lost in the gears of bureaucracy and refused to stand idly by as this one suffered the same fate.”
In 2011, 420 buildings were damaged by massive flooding throughout the Village of Sidney. Because of this history of flooding, Schumer, who helped secure the disaster declaration unlocking federal funding to buy out 135 local properties, vowed to advocate for Sidney’s proposal when they submitted it to FEMA. In December 2014, Schumer initially wrote to FEMA Administrator Fugate urging him to approve the Green Plain project as soon as it hit his desk. Schumer stood by the project as it navigated hurdles pressing FEMA until finally reaching approval. Now that the funding has been secured for the first phase of the project, Sidney is finally on its way to reducing the flooding risk for its community, residents, and businesses. The initial $1.9 million awarded to Sidney is for Phase 1 design work. Schumer vowed to continue advocating for Sidney to receive the rest of the funding they need for construction once the Phase 1 work is complete.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to states and localities to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster. These funds represent a major step in Sidney’s flood mitigation efforts to ensure a secure future, as many parts of the village are susceptible to extreme weather, as demonstrated by the flooding in 2006 and again during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.
Schumer has been a long-standing partner in local efforts to combat flood damage and disaster, assisting village officials at each possible step in their tireless efforts to protect their community. After the 2006 and 2011 storms, Schumer fought hard to secure the federal funding that would allow Sidney and Delaware County to recover and recoup damages.
“This is great news that FEMA has given the Village of Sidney the approval to move forward on phase 1 of the Green Plain Project. Special thanks to Senator Schumer and Rick Lord from DHSES for working so diligently on this project,” said Village of Sidney Mayor Andrew Matviak.
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