Silver Creek receives some FEMA funding

SILVER CREEK – It has been almost four years since the massive flood in Silver Creek, and the village recently received its first payment toward replacing the ruined department of public works building.

Mayor Nick Piccolo announced the village received a partial payment from the Federal Emergency management Agency for the DPW building in the amount of $508,000.

Piccolo said the village will not receive the full amount for the building and contents.

“We did receive a large check from FEMA for $508,000 toward our DPW building … We got a little short changed because we didn’t spend enough money according to them and we only received half of our replacement money for the (equipment) that was lost and damaged in the flood. We only received a check for $78,000 for that,” he said.

Another reason the village received less than the full amount was because it did not have flood insurance.

Piccolo explained the village will receive more FEMA funding after it makes necessary upgrades to the building. The village is also awaiting funding for mitigation at the village hall.

“It’s long overdue. … I am glad to see an end of the tunnel from FEMA,” he added.

After the 2009 flood, the village moved the DPW to the old Bentges Distribution building outside the village and later purchased the building for $750,000. The village borrowed just under $1 million to pay for this purchase and the other flood-damaged items awaiting FEMA funding.

In 2012, the New York State Comptroller’s Office released a scathing audit on the process of purchasing the building, which was assessed at $350,000 and was not eligible for the FEMA funding offered for a new build.

Later in August 2012, the Hanover Zoning Board of Appeals issued the village a special use permit under the stipulations that it would hook into the sewer system and move the driveway further east on Route 5/20. It is these projects that must be completed before more funding is issued.

Earlier this year, Piccolo sent a letter to state and federal officials hoping to get the ball rolling for the village to receive FEMA funding. This resulted in the village’s first payment of $273,000 for flood mitigation of the fire hall and replacement of DPW equipment.

The village also resolved to follow through with funding for the ladder pumper truck for the fire department. The village has $45,000 in a capital reserve for the truck which costs $150,000 and is eligible for a low-interest loan from the county which would have to be paid off in five years.

Fire Chief Jeff Griewisch said the Falconer Fire Department is not rushing Silver Creek to purchase the vehicle, but can make the vehicle available as soon as it is paid for.

Griewisch thanked the village board for moving ahead and thanked the fire truck committee for its hard work finding a truck that will meet the village’s needs.

The 1993 Pierce truck combines a pumper with a rescue and includes an aerial device. It also meets the village’s needs for an increased flow capacity, doubling what any of the other village trucks can currently pump.

The village will meet again on Aug. 5.