The Telegram
  • Soccer fields OK’d for FEMA funds

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  • MOHAWK — There was good news for the local soccer program at Monday’s meeting of the Mohawk village board.
    Representatives of Simmons Recovery Consulting of Ballston Spa reported the Casey-Warren soccer fields, which were heavily damaged in last year’s flooding, have been approved for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding.
    Mayor James Baron said the village would have to seek bids on the project, estimated at $119,000, but would require the services of an engineer before that can be done. Department of Public Works Superintendent Kevin Wheelock said he would make some inquiries.
    FEMA reimbursement is based on the actual, rather than the estimated, cost of the project, according to James Moranz, senior consultant for Simmons Recovery Consulting. John Soron, of Simmons, added if the amount is significantly higher than the estimate, FEMA officials would take a close look to make sure the project only includes what is necessary to restore the fields to their pre-flood condition.
    The local American Youth Soccer Organization uses the fields and had to look for other field space for the fall season after the flood in late June covered the fields with mud and debris.
    Moranz said the application for funding for the municipal electric commission substation repairs should be completed this week.
    “It’s going better than we had expected,” said Soron, noting the project to relocate the substation could run up to $4.2 million.
    Baron asked if New York Rising funds the village is requesting would impact the amount. The village is hoping to use New York Rising funds to fund its share of the substation project. FEMA funds are expected to cover 75 percent of the project.
    Soron said FEMA is not supposed to take these funds into account, but he advised the village to check to make sure any funds the village receives are used as intended.
    Moranz said the village would not receive money from FEMA for any of its large projects until it begins spending money on those projects. Soron added the village must submit progress reports.
    “For the small projects, they pay, but for the larger projects, they cut a check when the work is complete,” said Moranz.
    Baron asked for a list specifying which category the various projects fall into.
    Moranz reviewed the status of various flood-related projects that had been submitted to FEMA for funding. Some projects have been completed and the village has received funds for them. Simmons is still working with FEMA on several others.
    Soron said the shutdown of FEMA’s local office means the village will likely have to wait longer for projects that are still awaiting final approval. “It means reduced manpower and attention,” he said, adding it is important the village move projects along and turn in reports in order to receive repayment.
    Page 2 of 2 - The village has taken out a revenue anticipation note for $999,000 to help with flood recovery costs. It is due to be repaid with interest in December, but could be extended if necessary, village Clerk Judy Bray told the board.
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