06.05.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, FOLLOWING HIS PUSH, FEMA HAS APPROVED ADDITIONAL FED FUNDING FOR THE CITY OF TROY TO COVER COST OF MAJOR REPAIRS TO CAMPBELL AVENUE & ADJOINING SEWER, WHICH WERE SEVERELY DAMAGED DURING HURRICANE IRENE – FED REIMBURSEMENT WILL HELP PREVENT LOCAL TAXPAYERS FROM SHOULDERING COSTS

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), following his urging, has approved additional federal funds for the City of Troy to cover costs of repairs to Campbell Avenue and the adjoining sewage infrastructure that it was forced to undertake following Hurricane Irene. Schumer explained that, as a result of flooding during the storm, the sewer running underneath a section of Campbell Avenue, where it intersects with Sherman Avenue and Donegal Road, collapsed, creating sink holes that damaged two manholes. Ultimately, slop failure undermined a section of Campbell Avenue and resulted in its closing for several months due to road instability. Schumer explained that FEMA approved an initial $400,514.42 allocation, which was what the project was initially expected to cost. Due to the complex nature of the project, however, it ended up costing over $1 million. Therefore, in March, Schumer urged FEMA to approve additional funds for the cost of repairs sustained during the storm. Schumer said providing Troy with these funds is critical because it would fully reimburse the City for the significant repairs that were needed to preserve the city’s water infrastructure and repair the damaged section of Campbell Avenue. Schumer said approving this funding would help keep the city and local taxpayers from shouldering the heavy burden of repair projects that were necessary for public safety and health. FEMA has now approved a total cost of $909,957.59 and the project has a 75% federal cost-share. Therefore, combined with the additional $382,082.37, the total federal funding share for the project will be $682,486.19.

“This is great news for the City of Troy and the residents of Campbell Avenue, who were hit hard by Hurricane Irene back in 2011. I am pleased that FEMA has heeded my call and will pick up the tab for the cost of repairs. Now, local taxpayers will not be left holding the back simply because the repair project was so complex that it ended up costing more than initially anticipated,” said Schumer. “Restoring Campbell Avenue and the adjoining sewer infrastructure is critical to helping Troy get back on its feet. These additional funds from FEMA will help the City of Troy put Hurricane Irene further behind it and get back on its feet.”

Hurricane Irene struck in September 2011, when heavy rains flooded and severely damaged the City of Troy’s sewer infrastructure as well as a section of Campbell Avenue, where it intersects with Sherman Avenue and Donegal Road. During the storm, severe flooding led to significant overflows that caused the sewer to collapse. This collapse created sink holes, which undermined the road and damaged two manholes. This infrastructure damage, coupled with high levels of groundwater due to flooding, created road instability and ultimately led to slope failure on Campbell Avenue. Because the road was deemed unsafe, city officials issued an emergency declaration for Campbell Avenue and were forced to close the road for several months while repairs were made.

The repairs for the damage to the city’s sewer and Campbell Avenue were initially estimated at $400,514.42, and Troy was reimbursed for 75% of this cost, which was initially $300,385.82. However, Schumer, said because this was a very complex project that took seven months to complete, actual costs ended up exceeding the estimated costs laid out in the original FEMA Project Worksheet. For example, the original estimate did not include the cost of the engineering study that FEMA requested that the city complete. The cost of rental equipment, including submersible pumps, an on-site fuel tank, and dump trucks, also ran high due to the of the length of time that the project took to complete. Schumer said these are not factors the City of Troy could have accounted for in its initial request, but the repairs were necessary for the sake of public health and safety. The final cost of the project was $1,086,902.44. Therefore, in March, Schumer called on FEMA to approve the additional funds needed so the city would have the funding necessary to cover the cost of these further repairs and not pass along the financial burden to taxpayers.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s initial letter to FEMA appears below:

Dear Administrator Fugate:

I write to urge you to promptly review and approve the City of Troy’s request for additional funding in their final inspection report (PW 7945, DR-NY 4020). FEMA originally approved a Project Worksheet with an estimated cost of $400,000, but because of the complexity of the project, actual costs for the eligible work ended up exceeding the initial estimate by nearly $700,000.

In September 2011, the rain, heavy winds, and flooding associated with Hurricane Irene caused damage throughout the City of Troy, including a section of Campbell Avenue. During the storm, flooding led to significant surcharging conditions, or overflowing, that caused a sewer to collapse. This collapse created sink holes which undermined the road and damaged two manholes. The high levels of groundwater also contributed to road instability, and ultimately slope failure. Because the road was deemed unsafe, city officials issued an emergency declaration for Campbell Avenue in February, closing the road for several months while repairs were made.

Because this was a very complex project that took seven months to complete, actual costs ended up exceeding the estimated costs laid out in the initial Project Worksheet. For example, the original Project Worksheet did not include the cost of the engineering study that FEMA requested that the city complete. The cost of rental equipment, including submersible pumps, an on-site fuel tank, and dump trucks, also ran high because of the length of time that the project took to complete.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I appreciate the support that you have already given to the City of Troy, and I urge you to promptly review and approve their request for additional funding.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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