Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,875,606.15 in federal funding for critical repairs to Breitbeck Park in Oswego County. The federal funds are administered through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be used to restore Breitbeck Park and its shoreline, which has been severely damaged by flooding that took place on Lake Ontario in 2017 and 2019.
“The flooding of Lake Ontario in 2017 and again this year has devastated shoreline communities and recreational spaces such as Breitbeck Park and the regional economy right alongside it,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding is a critical investment that will help the City of Oswego restore Breitbeck Park and its shoreline, improve its resiliency to future extreme weather events and ensure the lakeshore economy continues to thrive.”
“This funding will help the City of Oswego rebuild Breitbeck Park after its facilities and shoreline were destroyed by the extreme flooding from Lake Ontario,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This flooding has severely damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s shoreline, and investments like these are critical to rebuilding our communities. I’m proud to announce this funding and I will continue to do everything I can in the Senate to make sure the communities along Lake Ontario have the resources necessary to recover from the flood damage they’ve suffered.”
“This funding will allow the City of Oswego to repair some of the damage caused by the high waters and flooding along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The flooding has had devastating effects on our environment, infrastructure and local economy and this funding could not have come at a better time. The City of Oswego will utilize these funds quickly to fix some of the damage and try to restore our waterfront property back to the valuable natural asset it should be,” said Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow Jr.
The shoreline of Lake Ontario was declared a major disaster in 2017 after extreme flooding caused severe damage in the spring and summer of that year, making communities like Oswego eligible for FEMA assistance. This is the first installment of funding for Oswego as a result of the 2017 disaster declaration, with millions more in funding from FEMA scheduled for next year. Extreme flooding has again plagued the Lake Ontario shoreline in 2019 and the senators have urged FEMA to stand ready to declare a major disaster again once damage is fully assessed.
FEMA provided this funding through its Public Assistance Grant Program (PA), which provides grants to government organizations and private nonprofit organizations after an official major disaster declaration. The purpose of PA is to help communities recover from and respond to disasters and emergencies quickly. The PA is authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.