(Owego, N.Y.) – A $3 million infrastructure project to improve emergency response and protect residents in the village of Owego hasbeen completed. The project relocated and reconstructed a municipal facility that provides crucial services to an area outside the floodplain.
During both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, stormwaters inundated Owego. Rains saturated wetlands and flooded waterways, destroying homes, businesses, and infrastructure. High water flowed through communities for three days following Irene. Local parks maintenance, sewer and water, and highway maintenance buildings flooded, hampering critical municipal services and hindering the community’s recovery. The flooding also released stored fuel, salt, and sand into the environment, causing contamination.
The project consolidated severely damaged buildings into a new 33,181-square foot facility that is located outside the village’s floodplain. The new building will allow for uninterrupted municipal services during emergencies and other events. In addition to the facilities it replaced, it will also be used as a staging area for first responders and utility companies to safely provide essential services during and after storms.
Sen. Fred Akshar (R-52nd District) said, “Keeping our residents safe and secure from weather events remains an essential responsibility for local and state government alike, and the Fuller Hollow Creek project helps both do that job.”
Tioga County Legislative Chairwoman and New York State Association of Counties President Martha Sauerbrey said, “This project will improve our community’s emergency preparedness and resiliency by ensuring essential municipal services and first responders can operate safely. Thank you to the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and Village of Owego for working to move this project forward.”
Village of Owego Mayor Michael Baratta, III, said, “We thank the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for their partnership in advancing this project to improve our emergency preparedness and our resiliency.”
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure, and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.
Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) and Infrastructure Programs, the State takes on a variety of initiatives developed during its bottom-up community planning process to improve resiliency, protect critical infrastructure, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reduce hardship.
Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county, and non-profit partners to bring hundreds of locally devised proposals to fruition.