Schumer, Gillibrand Announce, After Successfully Appealing To FEMA Administrator Fugate & Securing The Funds Needed To Relocate The Schoharie Public Safety Facility, The County Will Now Finally Receive $26 Million
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that, following their successful appeals to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), the more than $26 million in federal funds that will allow the county to relocate its Public Safety Building will be signed, sealed and delivered. In April, Schumer and Gillibrand announced that FEMA finally approved the framework needed to get this project underway and relocate the Schoharie County Public Safety Building away from the Schoharie Creek and out of the flood plain. Before their intervention, this important project had been delayed for years after the building was severely damaged during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. In April, Schumer and Gillibrand explained that Schoharie County and FEMA Regional staff had recently come to an agreement over a framework for the total project cost of $37 million, which includes $1.5 million in insurance proceeds. The project will have a 75% federal cost share.
Earlier in April, Schumer made a personal call to Administrator Fugate, where he urged Fugate to provide this final seal of approval of this framework, which finally allowed this project to become a reality. Gillibrand also wrote Fugate in February urging him to expedite FEMA’s review of the County’s multiple requests. Now, the Senators announced today that residents of Schoharie County will finally see their check in the mail, as this funding has officially been obligated by FEMA and will allow the county to break ground on this project as soon as possible.
“After years of red tape, we were finally able to break through the bureaucracy and have FEMA approve this $25 million in federal funding that Schoharie County desperately needed to relocate its vital Public Safety Facility, which was demolished in Tropical Storm Irene. Today, I am pleased to announce that these federal funds have finally been obligated – meaning the county will soon see its check in the mail so it can get this long-overdue project underway,” said Senator Schumer. “Schoharie County can finally breathe a sigh of relief, celebrate the fact that these funds will be signed, sealed and delivered, and then begin to break ground and make this new facility a reality.”
“I fought for years to help get Schoharie County through this red tape so they can relocate this critical facility. Earlier this year FEMA approved the framework of the relocation plan and now this long overdue project finally has the funding to move forward,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I toured the area after the storm and saw firsthand how important it is that this critical facility gets moved out of the flood plain. I wrote Administrator Fugate on multiple occasions urging him to expedite FEMA’s review and respond to the county’s requests and now Schoharie County will finally get the long overdue funds needed to relocate the Public Safety Building.”
Schumer and Gillibrand explained that before the storm the Schoharie County Public Safety Facility performed critical public safety functions for the surrounding community. Specifically, the Public Safety Facility housed county inmates, the Sheriff’s Department and road patrol operations, the county emergency operations center, and the 911 emergency communications coordination center. During Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the facility suffered massive damages, with floodwaters reaching the ceiling. Most operations have been temporarily relocated as the majority of the building remains uninhabitable.