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State program to "HELP" Irene and Lee-damaged communities fix water facilities

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New York state has created a new emergency loan program for local governments. The Hurricane Emergency Loan Program, or HELP, will make loans to communities whose wastewater and drinking water facilities were damaged by Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.

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Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

The interest-free loans will be made through the state’s environmental facilities corporation (EFC). EFC president and CEO Matthew Driscoll says the loan money will provide an important bridge to communities applying for FEMA aid:

EFC will essentially front communities this money, and should they qualify and receive fema funding they can use that money to pay back EFC. It works faster that we can get them funds to address these critical needs, right out of the box.

For many communities, making repairs immediately will save money and trouble down the road—and Driscoll says loans from HELP will be made available very quickly:

Theoretically we could get them the money within a week.

More information about HELP loans is at

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