WIVB/BUFFALO, N.Y. The cost of cleaning up after the storms in January was $6.6 million, of which $5 million went to private contractors, according to the city of Buffalo, which confirmed this to News 4. Who will therefore pay the lion’s share of the expenses associated with this and future snowstorms?
Following up on Mayor Brown’s remarks regarding a potential tax hike due to the recent snowfall, News 4 contacted the city.
The city has confirmed that the mayor’s remarks took into account other considerations besides snow removal, adding that it is merely a potential consideration. State officials are still concerned about who will cover these weather-related situations.
We are aware that when there is a terrible storm that floods a region, like Louisiana, there are some emergencies that are too vast for the local response. We acknowledge that the federal government is acting and we are in favor of it going out and assisting those individuals. Assemblymember Monica Wallace of District 143 stated, “We’re just saying we are asking for the same courtesy when we have our storms.”
FEMA regulations generally forbid government support for snow removal, taking into account only record or almost record snowfall as a consideration, rather than actual damages.
Assemblymember Wallace and other state leaders wrote to FEMA on Thursday, requesting a regulation change, in an attempt to try and modify that.
This is merely a means of expressing that we are unable to pick it up each and every time. Wallace went on, “We need the federal government to step in the way it does in other communities that experience different kinds of climate emergencies.”
Politicians from both parties signed the letter, which said that even though the storms in November and December of 2022 caused significant damage and even resulted in fatalities, the president had to override FEMA regulations before the storms could receive federal emergency assistance.
State Senator George Borrello continued, “The real motivation behind this letter is the fact that the president had to step in and essentially provide the funding that FEMA should have provided anyway.”
The city claims that expenses will be covered in this year’s budget, but moving forward, they will need to explore other ways to boost their income. Hopefully, FEMA is one of those choices.
In conclusion, Borrello said, “FEMA should step in and do exactly what they do for floods and other natural disasters because it quickly adds up as a very costly expense for local governments.”