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For Release: Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DEC Announces Flood Mitigation Grants for Herkimer County Municipalities

Grants will Reduce Risk of Future Devastation Caused by Flooding

Several Herkimer County municipalities are receiving grant funding for projects that will reduce the risk of future devastation by flood waters and expand economic development, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The town of German Flatts, and the villages of Ilion, and Frankfort were ravaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and by flooding in June and July of 2013. These municipalities now have the ability to pay for the design phase of five major flood resiliency projects. "This is a great example of Governor Cuomo's efforts to help communities become more resilient and avert future tragedies. These communities were hard hit by storms with devastating effects, and with these grants local residents are taking action to protect against future storms," said Basil Seggos, DEC Commissioner. "Once complete, the five projects will address flood vulnerabilities in key locations along Fulmer Creek, Steele Creek, and Moyer Creek." The funded projects are the result of the $16 million provided through the Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee grant program administered jointly by DEC and Empire State Development (ESD) to help communities become more resilient and prepare for severe weather events. The design phase is a critically important first step toward project completion.

The projects include:
Town of German Flatts: Fulmer Creek High Bank Failure Design ($141,986): Engineering designs to stabilize the massive bank failure to the west of Route 168.

Village of Ilion: Steele Creek Flood Mitigation Plan ($200,000): Plan to implement flood resiliency projects from the Route 5s Bridge to the Spinnerville Gulf Bridge using the existing Steele Creek Corridor flood study. Floodplain Enhancement on Steel Creek between Otsego Street and Second Street Design ($110,440): Design of a large floodplain restoration project through the village from Otsego Street to Second Street. Columbia Parkway Design ($84,080): Four conceptual flood mitigation scenarios along Columbia Parkway, including: (1) increasing the conveyance capacity of the watercourse in its current location; (2) replacement or enhancement of the 36-inch diameter culvert under the residence; (3) relocation of the watercourse away from the valley wall; or (4) construction of a retention pond upstream of the project reach.

Village of Frankfort: Moyer Creek West Main Street Bridge Design ($150,000): Design of a new bridge structure on West Main Street that will greatly increase to the volume of water that can safely pass under the bridge during a storm.

Howard Zemsky, ESD President, CEO and Commissioner said, "These grant-funded projects will address flooding concerns in the communities that have been the most vulnerable and prevent a recurrence of what they've experienced in the aftermath of the devastating storms of the last few years."

Jessica Breiten, Chief Planner with the two county regional planning agency said, "Without state funding, these municipalities would not have the means to address the complex flooding issues that have plagued our communities for years. These projects will not only provide the blueprint for flood mitigation projects specific to these communities, but will provide a template for other communities across the region and New York State that are interested in creating similar GreenPlains".

Frank P. Spatto, Supervisor, Town of German Flatts said, "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, DEC and ESD for all they've done to improve the resiliency of our community since the flood of 2013. When all is said and done, our area will be safer, better protected, and better prepared for future flooding."

Terry Leonard, Mayor, the Village of Ilion said, "Currently, the Village of Ilion has problems with surface area flooding because we lack a sufficient number of storm sewers and catch basins. The state-funded study will identify our needs and give us the opportunity to do the work necessary to alleviate flooding problems in our neighborhoods."

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