Mayer and Otis Announce Two Key Flood Control Actions to Help Mamaroneck

Mamaroneck, NY – State Senator Shelley B. Mayer (SD-37) and Assemblyman Steve Otis (AD - 91) announced at press conference in Columbus Park that the recently approved FY 2024 - 2025 State Budget included an appropriation of an additional $10.85 million towards the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation project. The Senator and Assemblyman also announced a new state and county initiative to proceed with flood mitigation projects before the Army Corps work begins. Mayer and Otis were joined by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar where the Sheldrake and Mamaroneck rivers meet.

Last month, USACE officials visited Mamaroneck and indicated that cost recalculations required additional funding commitments towards the project as the next step in moving forward with the $162 million plan to construct a series of flood mitigation improvements to address flood vulnerabilities in the village. Those commitments are necessary for the signing of two required documents: the Memorandum of Agreement and the Public Participation Agreement (PPA), by USACE, NYS, and Westchester County.

Last year Mayer and Otis succeeded in having the initial state share, $17.5 million, included in the 2023-24 state budget. When news of the new cost recalculation arrived on March 7th, Senate and Assembly one-house budget proposals had already been submitted. Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis worked closely with leadership in both houses of the legislature, Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committee staff, the NYS Division of the Budget, and the DEC to win inclusion of this funding in the adopted State Budget.

In addition to the news announced in the state budget, Otis, Mayer and the DEC have initiated a new model to advance Mamaroneck flood mitigation projects ahead of the Army Corp’s timetable through the use of non-federal funding to commence Mamaroneck projects. Over the past two months, regular meetings involving state agencies, Westchester County, the USACE and village officials took place that have shown great promise.

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am very pleased to join Assemblyman Otis in announcing we secured $10.58 million in this year’s state budget designated to fully fund the State’s increased share of the long-standing Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation project. This funding, on top of last year’s funding of $17.5 million, will allow this project to move ahead after many delays, and at the same time, identify other sources of funding for other projects that will address persistent flooding in the community. I thank my colleague Assemblyman Otis for his partnership, as well as Governor Hochul, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, County Executive Latimer, Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Torres, and Mamaroneck trustees for their continued advocacy and being champions of this cause.”

Assemblyman Steve Otis said, “Our goal is to advance Mamaroneck projects as quickly as possible. Every storm brings new risk, and most storms bring additional loss. Today we announce two important steps: additional state funding towards the Army Corp plan and an important new path for advancing projects with state, county, and local funds to begin work as soon as we can. Senator Mayer and I have worked closely with Governor Hochul and her team on both efforts. Our success is only possible through the great partnership we have with the governor, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, NYS DEC and our other state agencies, County Executive Latimer, Legislator Parker, and Mayor Torres and the Village Board of Trustees.”

DEC Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar said, “Under the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State is committed to working with our local, State, and federal partners to address the impacts of climate change and the increased risks of flooding due to the severe storms and extreme weather that have become all too commonplace in communities like Mamaroneck. I applaud Senator Mayer and Assemblymember Otis for their work with the Governor to secure this additional funding in the budget for a total State investment of more than $27 million. DEC looks forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement projects that improve resilience, protect New Yorkers, and safeguard vital community infrastructure from future flooding.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “I visited Mamaroneck the day after Hurricane Ida and stood with the community devastated by yet another deadly storm, and promised them I would not stop fighting to deliver them the flood protections they deserved. After years of bureaucratic delays, I urged the Army Corps of Engineers to come to the table and was able to secure the tens of millions in federal funding needed to move this project forward. Now, thanks to the tenacity of my partners in this fight, State Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Otis, in conjunction with Westchester County, the final piece of the puzzle is in place to ensure that this vital project can move forward without delay. Now we are one step closer to providing relief and hope to our long-plagued residents for the flood protections they deserve.”

Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Sharon Torres said, “I would like to thank Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis for their continued support as we try to create a plan to mitigate flooding for our residents. While there have been many delays with the Army Corps project, Shelley and Steve have been with us every step of the way ready to support our efforts to move from talking to action. The Army Corps project is an essential piece of the plan to mitigate flooding and both Shelley and Steve recognize that. Thank you both for being amazing advocates for our residents.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “Today we are here to take a crucial step forward in what is widely considered the most urgent flood mitigation project in all of Westchester County. We have seen the devastation that has been suffered by Mamaroneck in both historic as well as recent storms, and this funding is essential to protecting the community from future issues. I would like to thank my colleagues Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis for making this project a priority, ensuring a safer and more resilient future for Mamaroneck and its residents.”

County Legislator Catherine Parker said, “The Village of Mamaroneck has long been awaiting the Army Corps of Engineers project to tackle the pressing issue of flood mitigation. In that time, the cost of the project has escalated. Kudos to Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis for successfully adding $10.85 million to the NYS budget for the ACE project. Combined with the additional money from Westchester County, the Village of Mamaroneck should see that there is one less hurdle to jump before the project can begin.”

Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Jaine Elkind Eney said, “I’m delighted that NYS Senator Mayer and NYS Assemblyman Otis have secured $10.85 million towards the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation project as part of the recently approved FY 2024-2025 NYS budget. Flooding, and its devastating effects, is one of the most pressing issues here in Mamaroneck. Our residents have suffered incredible losses in the last several years. State Senator Shelley Mayer and State Assemblyman Steve Otis have been tireless champions for our community. We thank them for their advocacy.”

Deputy Mayor and Village Trustee Nora Lucas said, “The Village of Mamaroneck thanks Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis for their steadfast support of our Village. Most recently, we are grateful to them for ensuring that the newly adopted NY State budget included $10.85 million towards the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation project. Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis understand that flooding is an existential threat to the Village and recognize that this project is essential. Shelley and Steve are true public servants; and informed and strong advocates for their constituents.”

Village Trustee Manny Rawlings said, “We are grateful for Assemblymen Otis and Senator Mayer for getting additional funding for the Army Corp Project. This additional funding will be instrumental in advancing the Army Corp efforts to ensure our community remains safe and more resilient against future flooding.”

Senator Chuck Schumer has been a key champion for this project, along with Senator Gillibrand. Governor Hochul and our state agencies have also been extremely supportive.

State and county funding will be critical in these efforts. State and county officials are very supportive of the goal of identifying ways to fund projects and begin work. The village has played a leading role working with DEC staff on prioritizing projects. The goal is to move ahead on projects in the watershed while the next steps of the important USACE certification process move towards completion.

Otis and Mayer plan to continue to be fully engaged with the village and other municipalities on flood mitigation projects impacting Mamaroneck and the other watersheds they represent.