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The Telegram
  • Governor’s office: More flood checks going out

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  • Winter is coming, and Mohawk resident Betty Darrow doesn’t have heat.
    Darrow lost everything - from her hot water heater to her electric heater and furnace - in her basement due to floods that hit the Mohawk Valley this summer.
    And she’s one of several Herkimer County residents who have yet to receive funding from the state.
    “I’ve been waiting and waiting so long,” she said outside her green-painted home on Marmet Street on Monday.
    Also waiting: James Finnigan, 57, who lives nearby on Marmet Street, and has been searching for answers for dozens of others who just want to know if they receive a check?
    On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office confirmed help is on the way and 2,553 applicants - all those who are eligible - will receive a check, the last of which are scheduled to be sent out Wednesday.
    Officials did not say how many were not eligible, only that it was a small number. Those who are not eligible have already been notified, officials said.
    This news comes after the first round of checks was announced by Cuomo at Herkimer County Community College on Aug. 29. More than 1,200 farmers, residents, renters and business owners received checks amounting to $13.6 million for the repairs necessary to recuperate from the summer’s damaging floods.
    A total state aid of more than $16 million is anticipated to be doled out.
    Keeping abreast of the application process has proven difficult for some residents.
    Finnigan said for weeks he tried to get in touch with people in local offices as well as state.
    “The idea that I’m getting the run around” is the most frustrating part,” he said. All anybody “wants to know is what’s going on.”
    The west side of Finnigan’s foundation wall had to be replaced, along with a basement window, the furnace, the hot water heater and electric box. He said the costs ran about $20,000, and he has yet to receive a check from the state.
    “I had no wall, no furnace, no electric box; I took out an equity loan to replace all that,” Finnigan said. “I was afraid my building, my house, was going to collapse.”
    Finnigan said he was notified Monday by a regional Cuomo representative that checks were coming.
    “I hope it’s true,” he said.
    Darrow also expressed frustration over attempting to get answers.
    “They tell you one thing, you make all these calls…” she said. “You don’t have nothing.”
    Herkimer County Legislator Frederick Shaw, R-Little Falls, said some of his constituents - many of them farmers - are concerned about the amounts they’ve received from the state.
    Page 2 of 2 - Assessors were sent to each property to examine the loss, according to state officials. If residents think they did not receive a fair amount, officials said they can appeal.
    “They got a check, but they felt it was way under what their losses were and they were concerned about the formula used to determine the amounts,” he said.
    So far 30 people have appealed, officials said, and they’ll suffer no penalties if they cash the current checks while waiting to see if the state will reimburse them with more.
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