Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today attended the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees inaugural meeting for the Towns of Jay and Keene, where planning experts, community officials, and residents gathered to kick off the long-term rebuilding process following the major storms over the past two years. The meeting was held at the Jay Town Hall today.
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program launched earlier this year by the Governor and funded by the federal recovery dollars is designed to empower communities that suffered significant damage in recent storms to create and implement locally-oriented strategies to rebuild and better prepare for future extreme weather. The Towns of Jay and Keene are eligible to receive up to $3 million each to help prepare a comprehensive plan to guide their recovery and long-term rebuilding.
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program empowers communities across the state that have been hit hard by extreme weather over the last few years to come together and build back stronger and smarter, Governor Cuomo said. This program pairs a ground-up approach that utilizes local expertise with state-level support, allowing communities to develop their own plans to repair critical infrastructure and strengthen essential services. The end result is one that benefits the whole states future communities that are not only rebuilt, but reconstructed to be more resilient and prepared for any future storms.
Located in 102 communities across the state, New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees are comprised of community leaders, experts, and officials who incorporate their communitys unique needs into their redevelopment strategies. Communities have eight months to prepare and submit their plans. 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 communitys plan is complete and submitted to the State for approval. The communities 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.
The State will also award at least $250 million of the States FEMA-funded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to New York Rising Communities to implement eligible projects contained in their plans. In addition, a $3 million bonus will be awarded for best plans in several categories, including community involvement, use of technology in planning, and best regional collaboration.
Members of the Planning Committee for the Towns of Jay and Keene include:
- Scott McDonald, Co-Chair: Mr. McDonald recently retired as Director of the Essex County Probation Department after a 30-year career with the County. He is a former member of the Jay Volunteer Fire Department and the current Vice President and Treasurer of the Board of Project Team, a not-for-profit organization providing substance abuse prevention services to the youth of Essex County. He is a lifelong resident of Jay.
- Vinny McClelland, Co-Chair: Mr. McClelland has spent most of his professional career as a resources, land use, and community planner in the Adirondacks and Alaska. He currently represents LandVest as their principal real estate broker in the Adirondacks and is a member of their real estate consulting team, headquartered in Boston. He is a lifelong resident of Keene.
- Marcy Neville, Committee Member: Ms. Neville is a resident and business owner in Keene.
- Tom Hickey, Committee Member: Mr. Hickey is a resident of Keene and retired State Trooper.
- Tom Both, Committee Member: Mr. Both is a former Keene Town Supervisor.
- Joe Pete Wilson Jr., Committee Member: Mr. Wilson is a resident of Keene.
- Paul Johnson, Committee Member: Mr. Johnson is a resident and business owner in the hamlet of Upper Jay.
- Chad Garcia, Committee Member: Mr. Garcia is a resident in the hamlet of Au Sable Forks in the Town of Jay.
- Gerald Brow, Committee Member: Gerald Brow is a resident of Au Sable Forks.
- Eric Carey, Committee Member: Mr. Carey is a resident of Jay.
- John Michael Mascarenas, Committee Member: Mr. Mascarenas is the Essex County Community Access Coordinator.
- Corrie Miller, Committee Member: Corrie Miller is the Executive Director of the Ausable River Association, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the wild, scenic, and recreational resources of the Ausable River watershed.
- Jody Trautner Hart, Committee Member: Ms. Hart is a resident of Au Sable Forks.