Federal funds sought for ice storm cleanup

Joined by Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton; Schenectady County Legislator Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna; U.S. Representative-Elect Paul Tonko; Landry; and others, Paterson and Schumer said that the area is expecting about $5 million in federal aid so that taxpayers aren't left with as much of a financial burden in cleaning up the aftermath of the storm.

"We need to get out there [and continue] seeing what further ways we can help," said Paterson. "There are still 94,000 customers without power. There are still 70 schools that are closed and we're finding that we still have a lot more work to wage."

At the press conference, they said they had written emergency letters to President George W. Bush and David Paulison, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, requesting emergency declaration designation for the area. These efforts would launch federal funds.

As of Monday afternoon, one-third of Niskayuna was still without power. Landry said that he expects cleanup costs for the town to total in somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000.

"We're very optimistic having the governor and the senator here that we'll be able to get some aid, so we'll be putting in an application, and were hoping to get reimbursed for that," said Landry.

After the press conference, Schumer and Paterson took a tour of Niskayuna to look at the wreckage from the storm.

"FEMA administrator David Paulison believes that we will get the funds soon," said Schumer. "The governor and I are going to do everything we can to make sure that [the area receives help]."

Paterson urged residents to take precautions and stay safe.

"These are very difficult times in our state, but New York demonstrates an insuperable ability to come forth in times like this. I want to urge people in the public to be very careful. We just want to urge all of our citizens to be safe," said Paterson.

Visit www.spotlightnews.com for updated information on recovery efforts.""

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