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July 30, 2020 - 4:21pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,351,732.05 in federal funding to fire departments across New York State to enhance departments’ response capabilities and to help them more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The City of Batavia is set to get $68,880.95.

“From the peak of the pandemic to normal times, our brave firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” Senator Schumer said. “These courageous firefighters deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs.

"I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so New York’s fire departments have the resources and equipment to do their jobs and make it through the ensuing economic crisis.”

Senator Gillibrand said “Every day, first responders face dangerous conditions to protect our communities, and we must provide them with the resources needed to stay safe on the job during this health crisis. I am proud to have fought for this critical funding in support of New York’s local fire departments.

"These federal dollars will help offset costs from the COVID-19 emergency and modernize equipment that will protect our firefighters’ health and safety as they do their jobs. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that our firefighters need to save lives.”

The senators explained that the funding comes as localities face budget shortages and consider staff cuts, including in fire departments. Schumer and Gillibrand said the funding announced today will go directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies.

A chart with the AFG breakdown appears below:

Organization Name

City

Funding Amount

Middleburgh, Village of

Middleburgh

$163,000.00

Troy, City of

Troy

$399,457.64

Watervliet, City of

Watervliet

$458,093.29

Greenville Fire District

Scarsdale

$82,599.31

Southwood Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

Jamesville

$40,735.24

New Rochelle, City of

New Rochelle

$159,090.91

Hornell, City of

Hornell

$174,384.76

Coopers Plains-Longacres Volunteer Fire Company Inc.

Coopers Plains

$120,000.00

Poughkeepsie, City of

Poughkeepsie

$33,181.82

Syracuse, City of

Syracuse

$488,195.45

Dundee Village

Dundee

$154,285.71

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$26,505.71

Dewitt Fire District

Syracuse

$64,065.45

East Worcester Hose Co. 1

East Worcester

$24,376.19

Watertown, City of

Watertown

$80,138.18

Lancaster, Village of

Lancaster

$255,171.43

Otter Lake Fire Company Inc.

Forestport

$92,406.67

Oswego, City of

Oswego

$176,206.67

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$86,468.18

Worcester Hose Company Inc.

Worcester

$76,190.48

Tully Joint Fire District

Tully

$89,516.19

Batavia, City of

Batavia

$68,880.95

Auburn, City of

Auburn

$38,781.82

June 30, 2020 - 2:06pm

Press release:

Noting that the clock is ticking, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer called on the Trump Administration to extend the nation’s public health emergency declaration first issued this past winter to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schumer warned that the declaration will expire on July 25th unless the feds soon act, and reminded that executive branch delay on the emergency declaration this past winter set us back in the COVID fight.

Schumer said Health and Human Services (HHS) should announce an extension ASAP and give locals across New York the reassurances they need to keep the COVID fight going. Schumer cautioned, that without action, New York stands to lose collective billions in state and local healthcare funds, FEMA disaster dollars and even tele-health services, like those for Hospice and everyday healthcare.

“If we have learned anything from COVID-19 it is that a ‘stitch in time saves nine,’ and the more we can do to be proactive, the better off the public will be,” Schumer said. “This past winter there was delay and dismissal towards those urging HHS to officially declare a public health emergency as it relates to the coronavirus.

"Well, we cannot -- and we must not -- have that kind of inaction and uncertainly now, especially with what we know and with the sustaining needs of New York. We need the public health emergency extended ASAP to keep healthcare dollars and FEMA funds flowing to this state, and we need the declaration to keep our local health departments fully supported. The clock is ticking as July dawns, so we need this action now.”

Aside from the very clear public health consequences, Schumer said New York would lose billions of dollars collectively if the Trump administration fails to extend the public health emergency declaration. Just last week, more than $300,000,000 in federal healthcare dollars were dispersed across New York State.

Those funds are part of a combined $2.5 billion in the pipeline and already secured for New York as part of the Families First Coronavirus stimulus package, which are tethered to the emergency declaration.

In addition, as of June 1, FEMA had obligated over $1.1 billion to New York under the state’s COVID Major Disaster Declaration and the agency is looking to the public health emergency declaration to define how much longer it will continue reimbursing New York, and in particular New York City, for related expenses. Should the public health emergency end, FEMA has indicated that the funds flowing from the Disaster Relief Fund will also stop.

“New York is by no means out of the woods with the coronavirus, especially given the upticks we are seeing in other states and the risk those upticks pose here when you take travel into account,” Schumer added. “Extending this declaration will keep New York positioned to both respond and to keep fighting.”

In addition, Schumer also detailed the CDC’s Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which without an emergency extension would be locked up like it was before the first declaration was made at the beginning of the year. The account’s funds are being used to support local health departments and increased staffing across the city and on Long Island.

Schumer explained that these dollars could also be used by the CDC for, amongst other things:

  • Epidemiological activities, such as contact tracing and monitoring of cases;
  • Additional or enhanced screenings, like at airports;
  • Support for state and local health departments;
  • Public awareness campaigns;
  • Increased staffing.

Schumer also explained how the emergency declaration has allowed vulnerable and high-risk patients to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus at hospitals and health centers by expanding federal eligibility to receive routine care through telehealth and digital care.

Federal support and coverage for this type of medical care has saved countless lives because clinicians can use tele-health to fulfill many face-to-face visit requirements to see patients, says Schumer, adding that this has been one of the main requests of in inpatient rehabilitation facilities, hospice and home health professionals who are now using apps with audio and video capabilities to have patients visit with their doctors or practitioners.

Finally, Schumer listed other necessities that would cease unless the public health emergency is extended:

  • Nutrition assistance for kids who would normally receive free or reduced lunch in school would cease;
  • Access to SNAP would be restricted;
  • Seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels would see their access to food restricted;
  • A massive restriction on assistance hospitals and doctors rely on to keep their doors open during the crisis;
  • Reduced access for out of work individuals to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance;
  • Reduced access to prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare.
April 17, 2020 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in new york, FEMA, covid-19, Trump, news.

Press release:

New York’s entire 28 member bipartisan delegation today sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging he expeditiously grant New York State a waiver to provide 100-percent federal funding for all Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergency work in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

The representatives asked that any eligible work paid for through the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) be paid for by the federal government rather the New York taxpayers, as was done by Presidents Bush and Obama after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy.

The complete 28 member New York delegation that joined the letter were Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representatives Lee Zeldin (NY-1), Pete King (NY-2), Thomas Suozzi (NY-3), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), Gregory Meeks (NY-5), Grace Meng (NY-6), Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Max Rose (NY-11), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Jose Serrano (NY-15), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Tom Reed (NY-23), John Katko (NY-24), Joe Morelle (NY-25), and Brian Higgins (NY-26). 

Here's the letter sent to President Trump

Dear President Trump:

We write today to urge you to expeditiously grant New York a waiver that provides 100 percent federal funding for all FEMA emergency work in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Any eligible work paid for through the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) should be paid for by the federal government, not New Yorkers.

On March 13, you issued an Emergency Declaration for New York, as well as for 55 other states, territories, and the District of Columbia. On March 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York requested a Major Disaster Declaration (MDD), the first in the country, to aid the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 20, you granted the first-in-the-nation COVID-19 MDD for New York after a strong push from the New York Congressional Delegation.

Both of these declarations allow New York State to receive reimbursement for eligible work from the DRF. On March 25, the Senate passed H.R.748, the CARES Act, which more than doubled the DRF by adding $45 billion. The March 20 MDD now grants New York State access to Public Assistance, Category B – Emergency Protective Measures and the Crisis Counselling program for individuals. While this is an incredibly important step in combating the COVID-19 outbreak, this assistance comes at a 75 percent federal and 25 percent state cost share.

As of April 13, the New York State Department of Health reported over 195,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State, with over 104,000 in New York City alone. Tragically, our home state has already experienced at least 10,000 deaths from this outbreak and experts anticipate this number will continue to rise. 

With New York State at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, it is imperative that New York receive all the federal resources available to save lives and protect public health and safety. The costs associated with responding to this public health crisis are astronomical. New York State expects to request billions of additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the DRF in the coming months. If New York State must shoulder the cost of even 25 percent of this massive bill, it could deal a devastating blow to New York’s vibrant economy.

As New York continues to address the escalating outbreak of COVID-19, we urge you to expeditiously grant a waiver that adjusts the current DRF cost-share to provide 100 percent federal funding for New York State’s response to this outbreak. We thank you for your time and attention to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our staff members with any questions.

March 26, 2019 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, FEMA, Community Rating System, flood insurance.

Press release:

The City of Batavia has received notification from FEMA’s NFIP/CRS program that it has met the recertification requirements for its continued participation in the Community Rating System (CRS). According to Fire Chief and CRS coordinator Stefano Napolitano, the City will maintain its current Level 7 rating.

This rating will enable those residents and business owners in the City's Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to continue to receive 15-percent discounts on their flood insurance premiums, while those outside the SFHA will receive an additional 5-percent discount on top of already reduced rates.

In addition to the financial benefit, the CRS aids in improving community flood mitigation efforts.

These include: better informed citizens; enhanced public safety, reducing potential damage to property and public infrastructure; avoidance of economic disruption; and protection of the environment. In addition, implementing some CRS activities, such as floodplain management planning can assist a community qualify for certain Federal assistance programs.

This recertification maintains the groundwork previously laid out by City management and continues to be an integral part of the City’s comprehensive strategy to improve neighborhoods and the value of City properties.

Chief Napolitano acknowledged that there was a tremendous amount of work to recertify and maintain the Level 7 rating and he wanted to acknowledge the efforts of all members of the CRS recertification team, which included himself along with, Fire Department Capt. Bob Fix, Floodplain Manager Ron Panek, Inspection Bureau secretary Meg Chilano and confidential secretary Lisa Casey. Napolitano also wanted to acknowledge Erin Pence from the Genesee County Planning Department, who assisted the recertification process with mapping services.

Eugene Jankowski Jr., Council president, said, “I would like to acknowledge a job well done to Fire Chief Napolitano and his team. The CRS recertification is a critical component to manage the high cost of flood insurance for our residents in the flood zone."

Lastly, Napolitano points out that the annual CRS recertification process is an ongoing and continual one. Throughout the year, there will be activities which are vital to maintaining the City's current level, but also involve researching the readiness and ability to move beyond a Level 7.

March 2, 2018 - 9:04am

Press release:

The City of Batavia has received notification from FEMA and the Insurance Services Office that it has met recertification requirements for its continued participation in the Community Rating System. The City will maintain its current Level 7 rating, according to Fire Chief and CRS Coordinator Stefano Napolitano.

This rating will enable those residents and business owners in the City's Special Flood Hazard Area to continue to receive 15-percent discounts on their flood insurance premiums, while those outside the SFHP will receive an additional 5-percent discount on top of already reduced rates.

In addition to the financial benefit, the CRS aids in improving community flood mitigation efforts. These include: better informed citizens; enhanced public safety, reducing potential damage to property and public infrastructure; avoidance of economic disruption; and protection of the environment.

Also, implementing some CRS activities such as floodplain management planning can assist a community in qualifying for certain Federal assistance programs.

This recertification maintains the ground work previously laid out by City management and continues to be an integral part of the City's comprehensive strategy to improve neighborhoods and the value of City properties.

Chief Napolitano acknowleged that there was a tremendous amount of work to recertify and maintain the Level 7 rating and wanted to acknowledge the efforts of all members of the CRS recertification team, which included himself along with: Fire Department Capt. Bob Fix; Floodplain Manager Ron Panek; Inspection Bureau Secretary Meg Chilano and Confidential Secretary Lisa Casey.

Napolitano also wanted to acknowledge Erin Pence from the GC Planning Department, who assisted with recertification process with mapping services.

Lastly, Napolitano points out that the annual CRS recertification process is ongoing and continual. Throughout the year, there will be activities which are vital to maintaining the City's current level, but also involves researching the readiness and ability to move beyon a Level 7.

October 20, 2009 - 3:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, corfu, Genesee County Emergency Services, FEMA.

New York is appealing last month's decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny disaster assistance to five counties, including Genesee.

The state's formal appeal asks President Obama to overturn FEMA's denial and provide aid to Genesee, Columbia, Delaware, Rensselaer and Sullivan counties for damages suffered from storms that occurred from July 25 through Aug.16.
 
Damage, debris and response costs in the five counties exceed $7 million, according to a press release from Tim Yaeger, coordinator of Genesee County Emergency Services.

“The...counties are reeling from this summer’s flooding and storms, which have caused severe damage and hardship,” Gov. Paterson said. “The repetitive nature of these events has strained local governments’ ability to implement the recovery process and placed a severe fiscal burden upon the state and its local communities.” 

FEMA maintains that Genesee and the four other counties sustained infrastructure damage that was "not of the severity and magnitude" to warrant a separate disaster declaration (from a storm system that hit Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chenago, Cortland and Erie counties).

But the state argues that New York had the wettest summer in 138 years and the third wettest in recorded history. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported rainfall greater than 200 percent above normal for July.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculated soil-moisture content in excess of 500 percent above normal range in the five counties named in the appeal. This super-saturation of the soil resulted in "immediate significant rises in creeks and streams for even minor rainfall amounts."

“A failure to provide this desperately needed support to some of our most impoverished counties will leave them vulnerable to increased damage from even moderate future flooding events," Patterson said.

Corfu's damage assessment was found to be $246 per capita for Genesee County. That's well in excess of the per-capita threshold for aid established by federal law and cited in FEMA’s own preliminary damage assessment.

Damage and debris/response costs for all 10 counties affected by the summer storms is estimated at more than $60 million.

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