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Regional Archives The Altamont Enterprise, January 26, 2012

More grants available in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene

ALBANY COUNTY — Five months after Tropical Storm Irene caused mass devastation across the state, more funding is becoming available — to help farmers rebuild, to help small businesses and not-for-profits make repairs, and to help counties reduce threat to infrastructures.

Three grants were announced this week — federal funding for farms that raise livestock, as well as those that grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers; a grant from the state for small businesses and farms that sustained physical flood-related damage; and another grant from the state for mitigation of waterways affected by the storm.

On Jan. 23, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy held a press conference to announce a “round two” of the Agricultural and Community Recovery Fund.

In the first round, the ACRF provided $1.3 million to 143 farmers in 21 counties; three of those farmers, receiving a total of $84,999.83, were in Albany County.

To receive round two funding, eligible farmers must submit applications by Jan. 30, documenting feed, crop, produce, and nursery loss.

There is a maximum award cap of 50 percent of the eligible replacement cost, not to exceed $50,000 for feed replacement, and $10,000 for fruit, vegetable, bedding plant, nursery, and flower replacement.

Farmers who received funds from the first round are welcome to apply for the second round, but the total awards for both rounds will not exceed the maximum cap for any one farmer. 

In order to be eligible for the replacement of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, a producer must have had a Community Supported Agriculture, farmers’ market, or farm stand from at least Nov. 1, 2011 through Jan. 18, 2012, and be able to provide purchase records of replacement products.

The award amounts will be based on a formula that takes into account demonstrated need and availability of funding.

According to Michael Perrin, a spokesperson for the county executive, although it is federal funding, the money will be funneled by the state and administered through each county.

Farmers can apply directly through the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, by printing an application found at www.agriculture.ny.gov/disaster-assistance-and-resources.html. Applications must be received by mail; faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted.

On Tuesday, the Empire State Development and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced two separate grants, totaling $30 million, to aid in flood recovery.

Empire State Development has $21 million available through the Business Flood Recovery Grant Program.

Up to $20,000 per entity is available for small businesses, farms, multiple dwellings, and not-for-profits that sustained damage in Tropical Storm Irene. The funding is offered to help offset the costs of repairs or restoration of structures not covered by other federal, state, or local recovery programs. Preference will be given to applicants with the greatest need.

Eligible destroyed property includes equipment, furniture, fixtures, supplies, inventory, and chattel property, according to Jola Szubielski, public relations officer for ESD.

The deadline for applications for the ESD grant is March 16 and the application can be found at www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/FloodRecovery.html.

The DEC is offering $9 million through the Flood Mitigation Grant Program, in which counties can apply for funding for projects to reduce potential threats to public and private infrastructure.

Grants will range from a minimum of $300,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per county and preference will be given to applicants with the greatest need, and those that can start work quickly.

The deadline for applications is April 11, and applications can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/79243.html.

By Anne Hayden

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