06.29.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEMA HAS APPROVED ADDITIONAL $563K FOR BINGHAMTON-JOHNSON CITY JOINT SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT – FACILITY WILL FINALLY RECEIVE FEMA FUNDS TO REPAIR DAMAGES TO THE FACILITY FROM ’06 FLOODS

Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant Was Badly Damaged Following Extensive Floods in June 2006; FEMA Analyzed Cost of Repairs, But Administrative Error Led to Incorrect Deduction of $563K 

Joint Sewage then Appealed Decision, Citing Additional Costs of Repairs and Requesting FEMA Approve Additional Funds to Bring Total Cost of Project to $1.6M 

Schumer: Successful Appeal Means Financial Burden of Vital Project Will Not Fall On the Backs of Broome County Taxpayers

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced FEMA has approved an additional $563,764 in funding, bringing the total project cost to $1,624,838.67, to repair the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant. Schumer explained the facility sustained significant damage following widespread flooding in June 2006. FEMA approved funding for the facility, but an administrative error that incorrectly deduced $563,764 from the cost of the project left the Greater Binghamton area without sufficient funding to repair the facility. Following a year of appeal and review, FEMA agreed to reverse course and grant full funding to the Joint Sewage Treatment Board to pay for the needed repairs.

“This announcement is great news for Binghamton and Johnson City, which have been waiting too long to secure the needed funds to ensure their residents had a working sewage treatment plant,” saidSchumer. “After this successful appeal, though, we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I am pleased that this funding has finally been approved and the Joint Sewage Board will be reimbursed for the money they need to rebuild. Now, Binghamton and Johnson City can be sure that the financial burden of this important project will not fall on local taxpayers.”

From June 26, 2006 through July 10, 2006 the State of New York suffered from widespread flooding and extensive damage following severe rain storms. The Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant, co-owned by the City of Binghamton and the Village of Johnson City, was hit especially hard. The facility was almost entirely underwater, with sewage pumps, electric motors, electronic control panels, and other equipment were damaged. The facility was in the middle of an expansion project that could not be completed due to the damage.

On July 1, 2006, FEMA approved federal disaster relief and assistance for damaged buildings in the affected areas, including the sewage plant. The approval meant the federal government would engage in a 75-25 federal-local cost-share to cover the cost of damages following a review of what repairs needed to be made. Officials conducted an examination of the facility and determined extensive repairs and clean-up were needed, including the removal of sentiment from the Clear-well channel and the wet wall, as well as the removal of drudge and water from the facility. The Joint Sewage Board completed the repairs and was approved for eligible costs of $1,061,074, but $563,764 in funding was incorrectly deducted from the total costs, so the officials appealed the decision to request the additional funds they needed. With FEMA’s positive decision on the Joint Sewage Board’s appeal, that additional $563,764 has been approved, bringing the total project cost to $1,624,838, with a 75-25 federal-local cost-share.  

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