ULSTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE MIKE HEIN WILL CALL UPON NEW YORK STATE TO PICK UP THE LOCAL FEMA SHARE OF RECONSTRUCTION COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO HURRICANE IRENE

Posted September 1, 2011

 

Reconstruction costs expected to be millions of dollars.

Kingston, NY – Today Ulster County Executive Mike Hein called on New York State to absorb the local share of reconstruction costs which will not be covered by Federal FEMA money. Historically, FEMA covers 75% of disaster cleanup and repairs with the remaining 25% split equally between the State and local governments.

"This is the worst natural disaster in the history of Ulster County and has created enormous extenuating circumstances which require special action. The damage caused has affected many towns and counties throughout New York State and in some areas is catastrophic and the reconstruction needed is monumental," said County Executive Hein. "The 12.5% local share would be a devastating financial impact to all of Ulster County’s local governments. Add to this disaster a 2% tax cap without relief from ongoing unfunded and underfunded mandates, there is no way our towns and villages can afford the crippling costs associated with the disaster recovery. Ulster County has towns with damages well into the millions, and some with tax bases of less than 300 residents, the ability of a town to shoulder that cost is a financial impossibility."

This issue is not without precedent as the absorption of the local FEMA share by New York State has been done in the past, including 2006 when the State agreed to cover the shares of Erie, Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties after a severe lake-effect snow storm, and most recently in 2007 when flooding affected Delaware, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.