PoliticalNews.me - Feb 27,2017 - SCHUMER’S INTERVENTION SECURES MORE THAN $2 MILLION FOR BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY, AFTER DOWNTOWN CENTER SUFFERED DEVASTATING DAMAGE DURING TROPICAL STORM LEE; SENATOR SUCCESSFULLY PUSHED FEMA TO APPROVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR CRITICAL BUILDING REPAIRS AFTER FED ERRONEOUSNESS
Binghamton University’s Downtown Center Was Inundated by Flood Waters ?During Tropical Storm Lee, Which Caused Extensive Damage to Electrical and Mechanical Services That Support Key Building Functions
Senator Says FEMA Mistakenly Deducted Nearly $2.8 Million From That Total For Insurance The University Did Not Have – Now, Binghamton Received Some Of The Federal Investment But Is Still Owed More
Schumer: NY Taxpayers ?Will No Longer Be ?Left ?Holding The Bag For FEMA’s Error
Standing with the Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and local officials, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced he successfully pushed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse Binghamton University over $2,080,000 for damages sustained during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. Schumer said the flooding caused by the storm nearly destroyed the Center’s basement, causing extensive damage to major electrical and mechanical equipment that support the building’s functions. Schumer explained that FEMA initially approved a total project cost of $3,188,766 in funding for repairs to the Binghamton University Downtown Center. However, following this decision, FEMA then mistakenly deducted $2,778,462 from the federal funding the university received assuming the University would get reimbursed from their private flood insurance provider. However, as a state entity, Binghamton University is self-insured, and under FEMA policy entitled to full federal funding. Even with this information, FEMA still only approved Binghamton University for $410,304, prompting the university to appeal the decision and Schumer to advocate for the school in a letter to the FEMA Administrator.
“During Tropical Storm Lee, Binghamton University’s Downtown Center sustained heavy damage, crippling its mechanical and electrical infrastructure, requiring costly repairs and shuttering the building for over nearly a year. When I got wind of Binghamton University being wrongfully denied reimbursement from FEMA after being forced to lay out millions of dollars for these critical repairs, I immediately got to work,” said Senator Schumer. “I strongly urged FEMA Administrator Fugate to swiftly review and approve the appeal. Today, after nearly 2 years of cutting bureaucratic red tape I’m excited to announce that FEMA has finally corrected its multi-million dollar mistake. While there is still work to be done as some funds are still owed to the university, I will continue to fight alongside the university to ensure that they receive every single penny they need and deserve.”
“I am pleased Binghamton University will get this federal funding to help cover the cost of repairing damages caused by Tropical Storm Lee,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Securing FEMA funds remain critical during rebuilding efforts and serves as an essential investment towards building the necessary safeguards for when the next storm hits. I will continue to fight for the funds necessary to reinforce our universities’ foundation to help keep our students safe.”
Schumer explained that though the total claim for the University Downtown Center was $3,188,766, FEMA only approved