The Village of Gowanda will receive $700,954 from the state to reimburse it for costs associated with the damage caused by a severe storm and flooding in the summer of 2009.
“The money will be going to help pay off the money we used to pay for all of the repairs,” Gowanda Mayor Heather McKeever said.
Costs accrued as a result of the storm included equipment, labor and other expenses. The storm led to problems with mechanical systems and infrastructure at the village hall, where important records were damaged, and at the Point Peter Brook Reservoir. There also were expenses tied to debris removal.
“After the flood in 2009, the Village of Gowanda borrowed $3.85 million in the forms of bond and revenue anticipation notes to finance flood recovery efforts,” Village Treasurer Cindy Schilling said. She said the borrowing has been partially paid down over the years using funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance funds..
“To date, this financing has cost the village taxpayer’s approximately $185,000 in interest expense while we have been waiting for the balance of our FEMA funds before going to long-term financing,” she said.
McKeevet said, “For the most part, this is going to close that chapter for us.”
She said the federal government covered 75 percent of the cost and the state picked up 12.5 percent, which leaves the village responsible for the remaining 12.5 percent of the loan.
“FEMA and the state were sitting on Gowanda’s money for way too long,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. “It’s about time they made the Village of Gowanda whole for the damage done in the flood.”
McKeever noted, “We [also] had to pay the interest on the loan.”
Schilling said, “Clearly, the less we need to finance, the better for the residents of Gowanda by minimizing principal and interest payments on an annual basis.”