Town News

Supervisor Bill Reilich Travels to Washington, D.C. to Meet with Members of Congress, FEMA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Today, Supervisor Bill Reilich will meet with Congressman Chris Collins, Congressman John Katko, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, members of FEMA, and members of the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss federal reimbursement options for waterfront residents who have experienced property damages due to high water levels. During the meeting, each county/town will have an opportunity to discuss the damages/issues in their county/town. Below are the planned agenda items.  

  • FEMA members speak on ways they can assist
  • Questions to FEMA
  • Army Corp of Engineers speak on ways they can assist in times of emergency
  • Questions for Army Corp of Engineers
  • Wrap-up

Supervisor Reilich has been working tirelessly to assist and advocate for residents who have experienced property damages due to the high water levels. The plan to lobby in Washington, D.C. was developed in April of this year, when representatives from Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Erie counties met at Greece Town Hall to discuss the negative effects of the rising water levels and how IJC Plan 2014 was contributing to that. Supervisor Bill Reilich facilitated the meeting, and those in attendance included: Greece Town Supervisor William D. Reilich, Deputy Supervisor Michelle Marini, Majority Leader of the Monroe County Legislature Brian Marianetti, Sodus Point Mayor Chris Tertinek, Niagara County Legislator David E. Godfrey, Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson, Congressman Katko’s Regional Coordinator Christina Cornell, Congressman Collins Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Kracker, and Sodus Town Supervisor Steve LeRoy. The group developed a plan to travel to Washington, D.C. for the purpose of lobbying against Plan 2014 on the behalf of their lakeshore residents.

Since its introduction by the International Join Commission, many of the municipalities along the Lake Ontario shoreline have opposed the plan since day one and citied the many risks and potential damages it will have on their communities. Those who attended the meeting have been leaders in opposing Plan 2014 from the beginning and although it has been enacted against the wishes of lake shore communities, collectively each leader has spoken out against the plan.

 “Since its launch, I have opposed the International Joint Commissions plan to raise the lake levels and advocated against its implementation. In the meeting held at Greece Town Hall back in April with representatives from Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Erie counties, it was decided that we would collectively travel to Washington D.C. for the purposes of speaking with members of Congress, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about replacing Plan 2014 with one that ensures the livelihood of all lake shore residents and businesses.” said Supervisor Reilich. “I have and will continue to do all I can to advocate for waterfront residents and provide resources to help them protect their property. Since flooding issues began, I have constantly reached out to Governor Cuomo’s office for financial assistance for those who have incurred damages due to the high water levels. I have coordinated with the New York State Department of Financial Services for their Insurance RV to come to the Town of Greece and also coordinated with representatives from Sheen Housing to assist lakefront residents in answering questions and filling out Lake Ontario Flood Recovery applications. I also worked with the Governor to locate and implement a water-filled dam structure. Furthermore, the Town of Greece DPW Facility continues to provide sand bags to all waterfront residents. Over 250,000 sandbags have been distributed to date. Knowing that not only the folks in the Town of Greece, but all lakeshore communities, are being negatively affected by IJC Plan 2014, I created an official petition through the White House to overturn IJC Plan 2014. Recently, the Greece Town Board and myself requested an official inquiry reviewing the steps that led up to the decision of the IJC to adopt Plan 2014 and its lack of timely response as conditions continue to result in rising waters and damages to our homeowners and local businesses. I am reviewing every opportunity possible to help our residents through these flooding events, and will continue to find new ways to protect shoreline properties. I am looking forward to advocating in Washington today, and will ensure that we have a productive discussion”.