29-e. New York state emergency assistance program. 1. For purposes of this section the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Infrastructure" shall mean and include publicly owned storm and sanitary sewers, water supply systems, drainage systems, transportation systems, roads and bridges.
(b) "Municipality" shall mean any county, city, village, or town of the state.
(c) "Public facilities" shall mean and include publicly owned buildings, including traditional government buildings, such as courthouses, firehouses, police stations, parks, recreational facilities, and correctional facilities.
(d) "Fund" shall mean the state's contingency reserve fund established by law.
(e) "The office of emergency management" shall mean the office within the division of homeland security and emergency services.
2. The governor may, upon a finding that a municipality in the state has suffered substantial damage by an unanticipated natural disaster which has resulted in significant economic distress within such municipality, issue a declaration of significant economic distress in accordance with the provisions herein. In determining whether such significant economic distress exists, the governor shall consider whether the following criteria have been met:
(a) the municipality suffered a substantial loss of assessed value;
(b) substantial damage has occurred to municipal buildings, facilities and infrastructure;
(c) the cost incurred by the municipality for clean-up operations is significant;
(d) businesses within the municipality have experienced significant economic loss due to the inability to conduct normal business due to the disaster;
(e) a significant increase in unemployment claims filed by persons employed within the municipality has occurred; and
(f) the county or the county within which the municipality is located has been declared eligible by the United States small business administration for physical disaster and economic injury disaster loans. In addition, the governor shall also consider the extent that other financial resources, including federal assistance and insurance, are available to assist the municipality to repair damage caused by the disaster.
3. (a) Upon the issuance of a declaration of significant economic distress due to unanticipated natural disaster by the governor, a municipality recognized by the governor as being affected by such disaster which occurred on or after December first, nineteen hundred ninety-two, may apply to the division of homeland security and emergency services on a form prescribed by such office, for reimbursement from the state's contingency reserve fund for reimbursement of extraordinary and unanticipated costs associated with the reconstruction or repair of public buildings, facilities or infrastructure.
(b) Where the municipality applying for assistance authorized pursuant to this section is a city, and such application pertains to a county wholly contained within such city, such city may submit separate applications for such assistance for each such county.
(c) Such municipality shall be granted the assistance provided pursuant to this section, within the amounts made available by appropriation from the fund, upon approval of such application, provided that such municipality agrees to have a local disaster preparedness plan pursuant to section twenty-three of this article in effect by December thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety-three. On or after December thirty-first, nineteen hundred ninety-three, no municipality shall be eligible for reimbursement of such expenses unless such plan is in effect.
(d) Municipalities which have received assistance pursuant to this section shall, as soon thereafter as may be possible, amend their respective local disaster preparedness plans to include corrective measures that must be taken in order to avoid, to the extent possible, similar emergencies in the future.
(e) Municipalities applying for assistance pursuant to this section shall accurately describe the emergency conditions which necessitate the expenditure of funds for which reimbursement is being sought pursuant to this section.
(f) In providing assistance pursuant to this section, the division of homeland security and emergency services may give preference to applicants which demonstrate the greatest need or which document that such assistance will be utilized to bring the applicant into compliance with federal or state law.
(g) In the event that amounts appropriated are insufficient to provide for full reimbursement of all extraordinary and unanticipated costs incurred by such municipality approved for reimbursement pursuant to this section, the division of homeland security and emergency services is authorized to provide a pro rata share of the appropriations, appropriated herein, to such municipality.
4. (a) The commissioner of the division of homeland security and emergency services as defined in article twenty-six of this chapter with the advice and consent of the disaster preparedness commission created pursuant to this article, shall have the power to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this section.
(b) The commissioner of the division of homeland security and emergency services shall by March fifteenth of each year report to the governor and the legislature describing the activities and operation of the program authorized by this section. Such report shall set forth the number of reimbursement applications received and approved; the identities of the counties, cities, towns and villages receiving reimbursement together with the amount and purpose of the reimbursement.
Last modified: February 3, 2019