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Downtown Saranac Lake, April 2011. Photo Chris Morris
Downtown Saranac Lake, April 2011. Photo Chris Morris

Good and bad news on federal aid for post-flood rebuilding

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Good and bad news this week for those in the North Country who were affected by the historic flooding this spring:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency again denied individual assistance to help recover from losses suffered during historic flooding earlier this year. But farmers, small business owners and many others may be eligible for low-interest loans under a new federal disaster declaration.

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Reported by

Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

The federal government is reimbursing municipalities for damage to public infrastructure. But private property owners will need to tap other outlets for help.

Speaking during a phone interview Wednesday, North Country Congressman Bill Owens said he was disappointed by FEMA’s recent decision.

 “The people who still have not gotten help are homeowners,” Owens said. “We’re very hopeful that the SBA will make its own declaration, and that will trigger the availability of low-interest loans not only to businesses but to homeowners.”

But farmers across northern New York did get some good news.

The US Secretary of Agriculture has approved what’s called a “secretarial disaster designation” for agricultural producers in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties. Farmers in Oswego, Oneida, and Lewis counties are also covered under the designation.

The designation makes low-interest emergency loans available to eligible agricultural producers, through the Farm Services Agency and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance program.

The designation handed down this week also allows the Small Business Administration to issue Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Owens says those loans are available to small business owners, agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations.

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