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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $5.8 Million to Support Disaster Recovery in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin

WASHINGTON — U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank today announced $5.8 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) investments to support economic recovery in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin, following natural disasters in late 2010 and 2011.

“The Obama administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters rebound and rebuild,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “The EDA grants announced today will help local communities in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin rebuild their infrastructure, support business growth, create jobs, and enhance their readiness for future disasters.”

The investments announced today include:

In New York, a $4.7 million EDA grant to the Chenango County Industrial Development Authority to support the rehabilitation of the Chenango County Railroad’s 45-mile Binghamton-Utica rail corridor. The freight line, shut down in 2011 after suffering severe damage from Tropical Storm Lee, is the principal industrial transportation route into the county.

In Pennsylvania, a $799,000 EDA grant to the city of Sunbury will support construction of storm water and sewer improvements that will, according to grantee estimates, retain 200 jobs and protect critical infrastructure—such as an electrical substation and a fiber optic amplification station—from future flooding of the Susquehanna River. The city’s infrastructure suffered extensive damage from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

In Wisconsin, a $196,468 EDA grant to the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission will fund the development of a disaster recovery strategy for Taylor County. The area suffered from severe flooding of the Yellow River in late 2010. The strategy will help the region capitalize on its competitive strengths, assist in long-term recovery, and promote disaster resiliency.

In Vermont, a $115,000 EDA grant to Vermont Technical College will fund technical assistance programs targeted at small businesses applying for loans, or those that have already received a loan, from the Vermont Economic Development Authority’s Disaster Relief Revolving Loan Fund. The state of Vermont suffered severe damage and extensive business dislocations due to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

These projects are part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

Within the context of the administration’s National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) (PDF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of improved information sharing and the leveraging of existing resources to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.