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$1.2M in state flooding funds benefit boating enthusiasts in Niagara County

Olcott Yacht Club
Olcott Yacht Club was among the recipients, with $200,000.

More than 140 businesses along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River will get state money to make their properties less vulnerable to flooding.

The state announced $17 million in grants this week for businesses to make repairs and preventative upgrades to their properties such as converting to floating docks and elevating buildings.

The money comes from the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program, which was created in response to historic flooding in 2017 and 2019. Grant recipients included boat tour operators, mobile home parks, marinas, certain nonprofits, farms and multiple dwellings. 

"Thousands of New York State businesses span the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and rely on these bodies of water for their way of life," said REDI Co-Chair and Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler in a press release. "Many of these businesses were severely impacted by reoccurring flooding and high-water levels and this funding will help build these businesses back stronger and smarter than ever before so they can withstand future flooding events and remain integral components of their communities."

About half of the grants were made to businesses in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Empire State Development said, locally, more than $1.2 million went to Niagara County, all to boating enthusiasts. The largest benefactor was James McDonough and his McDonough Marine in Olcott, at more than $376,000. He and his flooding troubles had been featured in Buffalo News articles:

  • Clark Marina: $200,000
  • Hedley Boat Yard: $200,000
  • Olcott Yacht Club: $200,000
  • McDonough Marine: $182,013
  • Olcott Yacht Club: $100,000
  • James McDonough: $94,350
  • CDF & Associates/Spicer Maine Basin: $90,527
  • Wilson Yacht Club: $65,226
  • Ridgecomber Boating Club: $52,000
  • Niagara Gorge Jetboating/Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours: $44,056
  • Kaplan Newco/Back Bay Marina: $34,457
  • Serenity Sunset Cruise: $30,700
  • Youngstown Yacht Club: $20,000

Water regulators had forecast another year of high water, but a steady melt in the spring and drought-like conditions this summer have kept Lake Ontario well within its banks.