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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Home Current Affairs Latimer Trying Again for Flood Cash

Latimer Trying Again for Flood Cash

Local Assemblyman George Latimer is trying to push a $30 flood mitigation fund. Latimer pushed the idea in the aftermath of the 2007 floods without success.

Here is Latimer's announcement. What do you think should be done? Leave a comment below.

From George Latimer:

The waters from Hurricane Irene's floods that washed over New York State and Sound Shore communities may have receded, but the debates and discussions continue over how to prevent the problem from reoccurring. New York State Assemblyman George Latimer (Dem-91st A.D.), who represents the largest number of flood-ravaged neighborhoods in Mamaroneck, Rye, New Rochelle and Larchmont, is again pushing his proposed State Flood Mitigation Fund, targeting $30 million over the next three years, to provide resources to help build projects that would mitigate flooding in the future. Latimer introduced the bill in the aftermath of the April 2007 floods, and is again reinforcing the need for the State to provide resources to those areas again hammered by flood waters.

Writemo flood pic

(PHOTO: Rye's Oakland Beach during Hurrican Irene. Photo Credit to @writemo.)

"When I walked through Rye's Indian Village, along Howard and Lester in Mamaroneck Village, or through New Rochelle's Halcyon Park, I heard and saw many people who were angry about what had happened – angry with government they felt did nothing in advance to avoid their disaster. Many of these were the same people who suffered four years ago", Latimer noted. "It is very hard to discuss specific government programs in those moments; people don't want to hear words, they want to see action". But the wheels grind slowly in government nonetheless; Latimer's challenge was to translate the street anger into something productive and real: money.

Latimer submitted legislation to create a statewide flood mitigation fund, which would operate out of the State Department of Environmental Conservation, able to provide direct grants to communities that identify specific projects to reduce flooding. The bill has languished over the past four years: the State's difficult financial circumstances since 2008, and general lack of urgency in those areas unaffected by floods made it difficult to advance the idea. "Every affected community is working on projects, but no city, town or village alone can undertake the kind of public works projects that are needed: water-retention systems, pipes to carry more water away from homes, dredging narrow streambeds, raising low bridges. These are the kinds of projects that this state fund must help support", the Assemblyman stated.

The size and scope of flood-mitigation project could easily total over $100 million just for Westchester alone; Latimer admits his law is just a first step. "And we must remember as awful as Hurricane Irene was, we experienced hardly any coastal flooding. That is another separate set of potential problems and projects to be considered", he added.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a multi-year study of the flooding problems of Westchester, and after full review, can fund a significant percentage of the projects, with New York State picking up the difference. The time frame, however, extends years into the future – an unsatisfactory wait for residents who fear every weather report of an upcoming heavy rain as another round of devastation at hand. Latimer's legislation, if passed and funded, provides resources much sooner, once specific corrective projects are identified.

At present, 30+ Assembly members, Republicans and Democrats, have signed on to Latimer's bill. The widespread nature of this recent flooding should expand the support dramatically among colleagues, Latimer believes. At present, the bill requires a Senate sponsor as well.

"Westchester County has previously committed to an annual allocation for flood mitigation – but the State needs to do its share", Latimer noted. At the end of the day, he acknowledged that the money "comes from all of us as taxpayers" with the true challenge of convincing those not affected by the flood to agree that flood mitigation is in their interests as well.

  1. While George is at it, he can ask or inquire about getting money to complete and repair the central ave bridge. You know the one Pickup messed up and filed the wrong paperwork. What is it now 6 years now that the bridge has been out? There are literally trees growing in the place of where the roadway used to be. Another great job Scott. So if you don’t mind George can you fix that too or even better yet, how about you apply for the city manager job, $200k a year

  2. @RCGOOIOW – Nice comment. Really useful and productive. Also, great to see you feel strongly enough about your opinions to use your real name. Bet you’ve done a lot to help out around the city – hey, anything besides carping?

    4 years the bridge has been out. Too long, yes. But your oh-so-constructive criticism isn’t helping matters at all. There’s also the small issue about the correctness of your criticism, but that should probably slide – along with your real name.

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