08.06.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, AFTER SUCCESSFULLY APPEALING TO FEMA ADMINISTRATOR FUGATE,GLEN AUBREY FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL NOW FINALLY RECEIVE THE $500K NEEDED TO RELOCATE FACILITY OUT OF FLOODPLAIN

Glen Aubrey Fire Department Was Severely Damaged In 2011 By Tropical Storm Lee And Needed To Be Relocated Outside of Flood Zone to Avoid Future Flood Damage, But FEMA Previously Denied Glen Aubrey’s Request For Fed Funds 

Fire Department Had Been Under Appeal Since Fall 2013 & Was Caught in Red Tape Until Schumer Went To Bat For The FD; Schumer Urged FEMA Admin. To Provide Final Sign-Off – Now, Senator Announces Glen Aubrey FD Will Receive $500,000 From FEMA

Schumer: Fed Funds For Glen Aubrey Fire Dept. Building Will Be Signed, Sealed & Delivered!

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his successful appeals to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), FEMA has agreed to the $500,000 in funds that will allow Glen Aubrey Fire Department to relocate out of a flood zone. Now, Schumer said, that funding will be on its way to Glen Aubrey Fire Department. Before his intervention, this important project had been delayed after the building was destroyed in 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. Schumer said that the Glen Aubrey Fire Department in Broome County initially applied for FEMA funding following the storm to relocate outside the flood zone (the building had been inundated on two previous occasions). However Glen Aubrey had been previously denied the funding needed to relocate its facility outside the flood plain. Due to continuous flood risk, the facility needed to be relocated to provide efficient and effective emergency services. Now, Schumer announced today that residents of Glen Aubrey will finally see their check in the mail, as this funding has officially been approved by FEMA and will allow the county to break ground on this project as soon as possible.

“After years of red tape, we were finally able to break through the bureaucracy and have FEMA approve the $500,000 in federal funding that Glen Aubrey desperately needed to relocate its vital fire department, which was significantly damaged in Tropical Storm Lee,” said Schumer. “Today, I am pleased to announce that these federal funds have finally been approved – meaning the fire department will soon see its check in the mail so it can get this long-overdue project underway. Glen Aubrey can finally breathe a sigh of relief, celebrate the fact that these funds will be signed, sealed and delivered, and then begin to break ground and make this new facility a reality.”

Schumer said that the Glen Aubrey Fire Department was severely damaged in Tropical Storm Lee, prompting the need to ask for federal funding to begin reconstruction. Although the fire department completed some minor repairs to ensure the facility could remain functional, it still lies in the heart of the region’s flood plain. Schumer says as long as the Glen Aubrey Fire Department remains in the flood zone it risks the threat of further flood damage, and the facility had already been flooded on two previous occasions. Schumer said this increases the need to allocate federal funding to Glen Aubrey to move its fire department to a safe location outside the flood zone. Schumer said because of the facility’s rural location and due to the history of flooding in the region, the Glen Aubrey Fire Department risks having an inoperable public safety facility. Due to significant delays with the FEMA appeal process, Glen Aubrey and Senator Schumer requested that FEMA consider the 428 Alternative Procedure in 2014 to expedite funding for this integral Broome County facility. In his December 2014 letter, Schumer recommended the alternative procedures process as a means to expeditiously resolve the project, so the village can rebuild the facility they need to protect Glen Aubrey residents. Schumer made a personal call to Regional Administrator Hatfield on the project in April 2015. FEMA responded that the facility may be ineligible for the 428 process because the village had completed a significant amount of construction, and said that a final decision on the village’s eligibility could not be made until the appeal, which was submitted in fall 2013, was adjudicated.

After the subsequent denial of the appeal, after Schumer’s continued urging, FEMA and New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYSDHSES) conducted a site visit to evaluate the extent of the damage. In June 2015, Schumer wrote to Administrator Fugate to urge FEMA to pursue an improved project, which would allow Glen Aubrey to relocate the facility. Today, Schumer announced that FEMA had agreed to move forward with the improved project, and had agreed to a project cost of $500,000 to relocate the fire department out of the floodplain.

Schumer’s most recent letter to FEMA Administrator Fugate is below.

Dear Administrator Fugate:

I write to express my support for the Glen Aubrey Fire Department’s request for an Improved Project to relocate the fire house out of the flood plain. The Glen Aubrey Fire Department has experienced continuous flooding due to its location in the floodplain, and at any time the current facility is susceptible to flooding which could result in delays to the Fire Department being able to provide their essential first response duties. I urge you to approve the Glen Aubrey Fire Department’s request for an Improved Project, which would allow them to relocate their facility to a safer location outside of the floodplain.

I am pleased that FEMA has agreed to consider an Improved Project proposal for the Glen Aubrey Fire Department. I know that the Improved Project process provided a successful outcome for the Wellsburg Fire Department, and I am hopeful that this process will be able to resolve this project and help Glen Aubrey finally relocate their facility out of the floodplain.

The Glen Aubrey Fire Department, staffed by volunteer firefighters, provides an integral service to a rural community in a large geographic area. This facility needs to be moved to higher, safer ground to ensure that the first responders are able to do the work that the community requires. Additionally, a rural community like Glen Aubrey has few other means of funding such an important project; an investment from FEMA into relocating the facility will help protect public safety and avoid future National Flood Insurance Program claims and needs for Public Assistance from FEMA.

I thank you for your continued attention to this critical project. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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