St. Lawrence County is putting together a comprehensive, Multi-Jurisdictional, Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). This plan will help guide future efforts to eliminate or lessen the effects of future natural disaster events, while also making all participating towns and villages, including the County, eligible to seek federal hazard mitigation funding in the future.
St. Lawrence County has been awarded a Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Program Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to meet the federal requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The county will also be receiving planning assistance from the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYS OEM), and with those grant funds has hired Barton & Loguidice, P.C., of Syracuse to be the consultants on this project.
The County Department of Emergency Services will lead the Hazard Mitigation Planning effort, with assistance from the County Department of Highways and County Planning Office. Joseph Gilbert, Director of Emergency Services; Toby Bogart, P.E., Superintendent of Highways; and Heidi Ames, Grants Manager with the Planning Office, will be collaborating throughout this process. John Condino and Johanna Duffy with Barton & Loguidice are the primary consultants.
The finished plan will complement the emergency and crisis plans already developed by the County Department of Emergency Services. Each municipality in the county is invited to participate in the development of the plan. With their participation, they become eligible to apply for certain federal mitigation grant funds in the future. Hazard mitigation grants can help the villages and towns complete projects that will prevent disasters in the future.
Municipalities included in the final plan must take an active role throughout the process.
Participation responsibilities include:
- Attending one of the project Kick-off Meetings listed below
- Coordinating and facilitating local planning efforts related to the development of their own plan
- Assuring attendance at and participation in Planning Team meetings;
- Assisting the County and Barton & Loguidice in gathering municipality-specific information and in developing, evaluating, and prioritizing potential hazard mitigation projects;
- Encouraging and facilitating involvement of the public and community stakeholders in the planning process;
- Adopting the final plan by resolution once the document is approved by NY State and FEMA
- Cooperation and assistance with implementing the plan and monitoring its progress
Community partners in academia, the fire services, law enforcement, industry, agriculture, and infrastructure are invited to participate as well. Input from these groups will be invaluable as they develop a County-wide strategy for reducing the impacts of future disasters on the residents, infrastructure, and lands.
Planning efforts will be regionalized within the County to ease the process and make it more convenient for participants to attend meetings. Project Kick-off Meetings are scheduled as follows (you are welcome to attend whichever of the three meetings fits your schedule):
- Monday, January 14, 2013, 6:00 pm, in the classroom at the Wanakena Ranger School, 257 Ranger School Road, Wanakena, NY 13695 (315-848-2566)
- Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 6:00 pm, in the classroom at the Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department, 1035 US Highway 11, Gouverneur, NY 13642 (315-287-1537)
- Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 6:00 pm, in the board room at the Village of Potsdam Office, 2 Park Street, Potsdam, NY 13676 (315-265-7480)
The general public is also invited to attend any of the above meetings. Representatives from the county and the consultants will be present to discuss the plan and answer any questions on the process. Municpal representatives are strongly encouraged to attend one of the scheduled Kick-off Meetings to learn more about this project. Anyone can attend any one of the meetings.
If you have any questions about these meetings, please contact me at the Department of Emergency Services, 315-379-2240.