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Public weighs in on funds to strengthen flood prone areas

AMSTERDAM -- It was the public's turn to weigh in on how they want funding through the state program called New York Rising to be used. The program funds local towns that have been damaged by floods during Irene Superstorm Sandy, and Tropical Storm Lee. And Saturday in Amsterdam, the plans were laid out.

"We had huge loss here in the city of Amsterdam and there are people in the room that experienced that loss. This is a very important process for the city of Amsterdam, it's a very important process for the region and we're hopeful that we identify projects that will mitigate the problems with storms and floods and the emergency situations," says Ann Thane, mayor of Amsterdam.

At Saturday's meeting the public was able to ask questions, and place their vote as to what they thought were the best options. Governor Cuomo submitted an action plan to the federal government last year that would allocate $1.7 billion to a Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program Funding.

A portion of this funding is being used to support New York Rising, and help communities like Amsterdam better handle future storms.

"We've gone through all of the studies we've looked at the flood zones. We've seen where the flooding has occurred, and there's potential for more flooding and hopefully we can do something to both keep that flooding from happening again as well as make the structures in those areas stronger," says Mark Kilmer, President of Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. 

Over the course of eight months each community will come up with a comprehensive plan to help rebuild and increase resilience for the next time a powerful storm hits this area. If you would like to see the plan in more detail, or learn more visit: http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/nyrcr/community/city-amsterdam-town-amsterdam-and-town-florida