New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondack village of Ausable Forks this morning to announce a funding initiative for Tropical Storm Irene recovery and to present a check to rebuild a firehouse destroyed in that storm.
The New York Rising Initiative is a program that receives federal storm recovery funds allocated through the state. Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair and Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas explained that the Adirondack towns of Keene and Jay have formed a committee to craft a rebuilding plan utilizing those funds.
Governor Cuomo joined the group in Ausable Forks. He told the committee that the two Adirondack towns most devastated by Tropical Storm Irene, Jay and Keene, could receive millions of dollars through the New York Rising Initiative.
Cuomo explained that Jay and Keene must submit the plans and compete for the funds.
Jay-Keene Committee co-chair Vinnie McClellan noted that each New York Rising committee will include experts in labor, hazard mitigation, zoning, economic development, transportation, public works and emergency management.
The governor used the rebuilding of the Keene Firehouse following Tropical Storm Irene as a metaphor for how the state and communities have come together to rebuild. But he also noted another firehouse in the region has yet to be restored.
The funding for the New York Rising initiative comes from a supplemental appropriation that was requested by New York State and approved following Hurricane Sandy for reconstruction and rebuilding. The state successfully included damage from Irene and Lee in that appropriation.