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State provides $49M for Lake Ontario flood prevention and shoreline redevelopment

Thomas O'Neil-White

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at Fort Niagara State Wednesday to announce funding for flood prevention development along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

As part of the its first round of funding, Cuomo said the state is providing $49 million to Niagara and Orleans counties under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development, or REDI, initiative.

The governor said towns along the shoreline of Lake Ontario need to adapt to the new normal of high water levels.

“We’re going to anticipate future flooding and we’re going to build for it,” he said. “The good news is a lot of the work we’re talking about was work that needed to be done anyway, or should’ve been done anyway.”

Cuomo said the projects would be a complete modernization of the entire waterfront, which includes 500 miles and eight counties in the state.

Cuomo said 20 REDI projects for Niagara and Orleans counties were already approved.

“These are real projects that are ready to go,” he said. “That the local communities are ready to implement, and we are ready to fund.”

Regarding litigation Cuomo recently filed against the International Joint Commission, the governor said the agency failed to properly manage water levels in the lake and New York State is shouldering too much of the financial burden.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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