Launched in Albany Thursday, the New York Rising Community Construction program’s goal is to empower localities to develop and implement recovery plans after the damage done by storms Sandy, Lee and Irene, and more recently, by the severe flooding in the Mohawk Valley caused by heavy rains in late June.
New York is no stranger to disaster. At Thursday’s conference in Albany, attended by hundreds of state, federal and local officials, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he understands that and is leading areas of the state that have fallen victim to severe weather in a quest to “build back New York better than before.”
The New York Rising Community Construction program involves approximately 100 qualifying communities that will be eligible to share in more than $500 million of funding made available through the federal supplemental appropriation the governor worked with Congress to obtain earlier this year. Cuomo believes "communities know best" when it comes to rebuilding.
The plans will be driven by the needs of each community and developed by regional planning committees of community leaders, experts, and officials. Grant amounts will be based on FEMA assessed damage levels as well as applications for new infrastructure and other mitigation, and will be awarded once the community’s plan is complete and submitted to the state for approval.
Communities “on the list” have eight months to come up with a plan. The state will fund it. Bonuses will be awarded to the "best" plans in eight areas, including "best use of technology" and "best use of community involvement."
The governor announced he will appoint Jamie Rubin as the Director of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program. Rubin is currently Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was in Albany for the conference, and New York State Director of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Task Force.