State to cover local share for storm buyouts from Irene and Lee

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New York will pay the local share for property buyouts due to tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

About 1,140 properties in 17 counties are expected to be bought out through the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the devastating storms. The state and local governments were expected to pay 25 percent of the cost.

Barack Obama, Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michel Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, Shaun DonovanThe buyouts are estimated to cost $194 million, and local and state share was expected to be about $48.5 million.

Cuomo said the state will pick up the local share through a federal block grant to New York, which was announced last month and totals $1.7 billion. The state has also picked up the local share for other recovery programs.

“By assuming the 25 percent share of the costs for the buyouts, we can help individual property owners and their communities continue their recovery and restore their lives,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The deadline for homeowners and businesses to file for a buyout was June 30, 2012.

The 17 counties eligible were Albany, Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Orange, Otsego, Rockland, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Tioga, Ulster and Westchester.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston applauded the governor’s announcement, saying it will help local governments manage the ongoing clean-up costs.

“Having lost my home twice to flooding, I know how trying these times are on homeowners and municipalities,” Preston said in a statement. “By New York state covering the local share for municipalities, more Broome County residents will be able rebuild, relocate and reinvest in our community.”

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