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Oswegatchie will join county hazard plan

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HEUVELTON - The town of Oswegatchie will participate in St. Lawrence County’s hazard mitigation plan.

Assured it would cost the town nothing, the town board Monday voted 5-0 in favor of the plan, which is being put together this week.

The board tabled participation at its Dec. 10 meeting out of concern there was a local cost involved.

Assurances to the contrary came in a Dec. 14 letter to the town from St. Lawrence County Department of Emergency Services Director Joseph M. Gilbert.

No municipalities will have pay.

“There is no cost to your municipality to participate in the planning project,” Mr. Gilbert said. “The only cost your municipality will incur will come from time attending the meetings in planning.”

Those meetings began last night in Fine and will resume tonight in Gouverneur and wrap up Wednesday in Potsdam.

Town Supervisor Alfred (Bud) Nichols will attend the session in Potsdam.

The multi-jurisdictional plan must be adopted this year. It puts the county and its Office of Emergency Services in charge of a hazard mitigation plan that involves all the county’s municipalities.

“This plan will help guide our future efforts to eliminate or lessen the effects of future natural disaster events while also making all participating jurisdictions, including the county, eligible to seek hazard mitigation funding in the future,” Mr. Gilbert said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency-sanctioned program will permit the county to act on behalf of the municipalities who are limited in their capability to participate in developing a countywide plan to respond to the damage of disasters like floods and spills.

FEMA has awarded the county up to $75,000 for the plans and the county will be responsible for coming up with a $25,000 match through technical and planning services.

“And no direct cost to the town,” said board member Bruce O. LaRose.

Joining Mr. Nichols and Mr. LaRose in supporting the town’s participation in the plan were board members Kenneth Wilson, Michael Stoner and Lillian O. LaRose.

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