Governor Cuomo Hosts Conference to Present NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plans

“NY Rising to the Top” Competition Winners Announced at Conference Attended by Community Members from Long Island.

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Albany, NY - April 24, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted a NY Rising Community Reconstruction program conference today in Albany, bringing together hundreds of members of the 50 local planning committees to present hundreds of projects featured in the final Reconstruction Plans that were submitted to the State on March 31, 2014.  The Governor also announced the winners of NY Rising to the Top, a competition which was announced earlier this year to foster innovation, encourage collaboration, and promote the development of the best possible Reconstruction Plans.

"Rebuilding our communities is something that we cannot do from Albany or Washington, rather, we have to do it community by community across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "There are certain things that government should do on a top-down, macro level—and we have been doing exhaustive systems redevelopment and are actively preparing citizens across the state by holding emergency preparedness training events and opening the College of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security. But the way to really build New York back was to go to affected communities and ask them to come together and figure out a plan for what their specific community needed, so that we could fund their vision. Every community felt the storm, but they all felt it differently. The differences, though seemingly minor, can make all the difference in the world. Funding community visions is something that's never been done before and New York has done it amazingly well, tightening the bonds and fabric of communities across the state and better preparing for the reality of the next severe weather event."

The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program is a bottom-up, planning process designed to empower communities that suffered significant damage from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The program was established in April 2013 by the Governor and is funded almost entirely by over $600 million of federal funds through the Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery program.  Over the past eight months, local leaders, experts, and officials have worked together to incorporate their community’s unique needs into 50 Reconstruction Plans, which recommend innovative and transformative projects that will prepare them for future extreme weather.

A complete list of NY Rising Communities is below.

“Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking vision for the Community Reconstruction program is evident in the Reconstruction Plans presented today,” said NY Rising Director Jamie Rubin. “Hundreds of extraordinary proposals have been submitted, reflecting what can be achieved through a planning process which provides residents with the tools and resources that they need to transform their communities.”

The conference featured thematic presentations on Coastal Protection; Community Resiliency; Critical Facility Resiliency; Economic Development; Infrastructure Upgrades; Riverine Protection; and Storm Water Management to represent the types of projects and scope of work that Planning Committees are recommending to the State in the Reconstruction Plans, which are available at

Next steps for Reconstruction Plans will involve selecting projects for implementation in consultation with local municipalities and nonprofit organizations by looking at cost estimates, cost benefit analysis, potential to reduce risk to population and assets, technical feasibility, community support and HUD eligibility.

NY Rising to the Top Competition Winners
In addition to the Community Reconstruction Plans submitted by NY Rising Committees, each Planning Committee had the opportunity to submit an application for a Rising to the Top award. The community demonstrating exemplary achievement in each of the following eight categories has been awarded up to $3 million in bonus funding:

Best Regional Collaboration: Southern Tier Communities
Southern Tier Communities expanded planning boundaries to be more inclusive; hosted a Regional Resiliency Summit to solicit feedback from various sectors and stakeholders, and launched a Regional River Initiative to address resiliency issues and opportunities on a watershed basis, including watershed modeling, stream management and education.

Best Use of Technology in the Planning Process: Village of Waterford
Village of Waterford volunteers created a Geographic Information System application which they used to identify an unknown high risk area and have offered to make this software available to other NY Rising Communities.

Best Community Involvement in the planning process: Margaretville
Margaretville held weekly open surveys, canvassed door-to-door and held interactive Public Engagement Events. The Committee participated in festivals and other informational events, and Margaretville Central School created a 20-minute video documenting recovery efforts.

Best Inclusion of Vulnerable Populations: Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach & Sea Gate
Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach & Sea Gate together demonstrated effective outreach to vulnerable populations throughout the planning process. Projects developed out of the committee incorporated policies, projects and actions to further the interests of vulnerable populations including development of Workforce Training Programs as well as Resilient Power Systems at NYCHA, Mitchell-Lama & Senior Properties.

Best Use of Green Infrastructure South Valley Stream
South Valley Stream has proposed utilizing green resiliency strategies to improve coastal protection with elements including a terraced pathway, erosion and sediment control elements, permeable pavements, living shoreline, bioswales, and educational signage.

Best Innovative and Cost-Effective Financing: Oakdale/West Sayville
Oakdale/West Sayville has proposed public/private partnerships which could leverage public funds to secure private investment. Economic development partnerships include a bike share, water taxi, and trolley. Additional proposed partnerships involve the extension of infrastructure and home utility improvements.

Best Infrastructure Investments with Co-Benefits: Jay/Keene
Jay/Keene proposed restoration and flood mitigation at Johns Brook which will provide refuge for brook trout to spawn and allow for economic development opportunities. The project will also protect millions of dollars in assets from flooding and restore habitat. Other proposed stormwater and erosion control projects will provide long-term environmental benefits while reducing annual road-repair costs.

Best Approach to Resilient Economic Growth: Staten Island
Staten Island has proposed projects to incorporate strategies which identify and assist at-risk businesses including the development of a survey of businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy, a “Race for Space” grant program, the East Shore Local Development Corporation (LDC), as well as the New Creek Bluebelt project.

“The eight NY Rising Communities in Suffolk County have shown tremendous foresight, commitment, and sophistication when it comes to rebuilding our County in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “I am excited to work with Governor Cuomo to implement nearly $50 million of projects that will benefit the people who live and work in Suffolk County."

“Governor Cuomo’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program sets a new standard for grassroots planning,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “The Program will ensure that Nassau County’s 13 NY Rising Communities—comprising 31 localities—are better protected from future storms.  The Governor has committed up to nearly $200 million in this program for our great County, and I look forward to seeing the numerous, innovative projects become a reality as we re-imagine New York.  I congratulate Governor Cuomo and the hundreds of NY Rising Committee Members throughout the State for their efforts to rebuild smarter and stronger.”

"It has been a pleasure working with the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Committees in the Town of Babylon to move our Communities forward to a more resilient and sustainable future,” said Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “The commitment of the Planning Committee Members has been unprecedented, and I applaud their efforts. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this front to ensure a better and stronger New York State"

“We support the efforts of NY Rising, a vital program that has helped neighbors in need, while working to protect our waterfront communities from storm damage in the future,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray.

Jackie Milton, committee member of Village of Lindenhurst NY Rising Committee said, “The NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program was another step in healing our storm-battered Community.  The program brought together Community members from many walks of life, all focused on a common goal – building back a stronger Village of Lindenhurst.  Today, with the release of the Village of Lindenhurst NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, we are well on our way to realizing this goal.”

Joseph DeCarlo, co-chair of West Islip NY Rising Committee said, “After eight months of planning, the work is not done—it is just beginning.  With our Community’s robust NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, we have provided a plan, containing rigorous technical analysis and extensive Community input, for the State to now implement projects that will build our Community back better!  It is with tremendous pride that I can say that I was a Co-Chair of the NY Rising West Islip Planning Committee.  It is an experience that I will always remember and appreciate.”

Theresa DePietto, Committee Member of Village of Babylon/West Babylon NY Rising Committee said, “I am so encouraged to see all of our committee's hard work come together in the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan. The West Babylon/Village of Babylon planning process was incredibly rewarding and taught the community many things about itself, as well as brought people closer together. We look forward to moving forward together to implement the important measures we have identified in our NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan.”

Rob Weltner, co-chair of Village of Freeport NY Rising Committee said, “It's been a very positive learning experience for all of us on the planning committee, listening to the Community and turning those ideas into workable projects. The support from our state administrators and consultants, all the way up to the Governor's office, has been very impressive and helped greatly to turn these ideas into really good projects that will help us all from today to 100 years from now.”

Joe Baker, co-chair of Bellmore/Merrick NY Rising Committee said, “It has been an honor and privilege serving as Co-Chair for this amazing NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program.  The concerted effort to include a cross-section of our Community in the decision-making process will help make our Community more resilient now and in the future. Governor Cuomo's vision and leadership and his insistence for a “bottom-up” approach for Community involvement will for sure benefit our Community for many years to come.”

Anthony D’Esposito, co-chair of Barnum Island/Village of Island Park/Oceanside/Harbor Isle NY Rising Committee said, “Governor Cuomo's NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program enabled Committee Members to collaborate in order to improve the places we call home. I applaud the committee members for their tireless efforts. I look forward to the implementation of our NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, and more importantly, the improvements it will bring to our beloved Community.”

Kerri Rosalia, co-chair of Village of Mastic Beach and Smith Point of Shirley NY Rising Committee said, “The NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program was another step in healing our storm-battered community.  The program brought together Community members from many walks of life, all focused on a common goal – building back a stronger Village of Mastic Beach and Smith Point of Shirley.  Today, with the release of the Village of Mastic Beach and Smith Point of Shirley NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, we are well on our way to realizing this goal.”

Bill Van Wagner, co-chair of the Massapequas NY Rising Committee said, “The NY Rising Program has brought our Community together with a great committee of our local residents.  We have put together a super NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan to make our Community stronger and more resilient for future storms.  Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the resources from New York State, I know that this program will be a winner!”

Vinnie Moscato, co-chair of Village of Bayville NY Rising Committee said, “Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, I learned that we are a very strong community that has come together to work as a team to build a better Bayville.  I found it very interesting at the public meetings to hear from everyone in our great Community.  I am proud to have been a part of this program and to have served as a Co-Chair with a great bunch of dedicated people.”

NY Rising Communities Summer 2013


Long Island – Nassau County

V. Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic Beach, Atlantic Beach Estates

Lido Beach, Point Lookout

C. Long Beach

Baldwin, Baldwin Harbor

V. Freeport

Seaford, Wantagh

Bellmore, Merrick

Bay Park, V. East Rockaway

South Valley Stream

V. Bayville

Barnum Island, Oceanside, V. Island Park, Harbor Isle

Five Towns (V. Cedarhurst, Hewlett, V. Lawrence, Woodmere, V. Hewlett Neck, V. Hewlett Harbor, Meadowmere Park, Inwood)

Massapequa, V. Massapequa Park, East Massapequa


Long Island – Suffolk County

V. Amityville, Copiague

V. Babylon, West Babylon

V. Lindenhurst

Fire Island

West Gilgo to Captree

V. Mastic Beach, Smith Point of Shirley

Oakdale, West Sayville

West Islip


New York City

Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Sea Gate

Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay

Lower Manhattan

Broad Channel

New Howard Beach, Old Howard Beach

Red Hook

Breezy Point, Roxbury

Rockaway West (Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park)

Rockaway East (Arverne, Edgemere, Far Rockaway)

East and South Shores of Staten Island


    Capital/North Country/Mohawk Valley

T. Jay, T. Keene

C. Amsterdam, T. Amsterdam, T. Florida

C. Schenectady, T. Rotterdam

V. Waterford

T. Esperance, V. Esperance, V. Schoharie, V. Middleburgh

*Herkimer County Communities

*Oneida County Communities

*Montgomery County


Hudson Valley & Catskills

V. Margaretville

V. Sidney

T. Prattsville

T. Shandaken, T. Hardenburgh

Ulster County Communities (T. New Paltz, V. New Paltz, T. Saugerties, V. Saugerties, T. Wawarsing, V. Ellenville, T. Rochester, T. Olive, T. Woodstock,  T. Rosendale)

T. Stony Point

V. Washingtonville


Southern Tier & Central New York

Broome County Communities (C. Binghamton, T. Conklin, T. Union, T. Vestal, V. Johnson City, V. Endicott) (V. Endicott added)

Tioga County Communities (T. Nichols, V. Nichols, T. Owego, V. Owego, T. Tioga) (T. Tioga added)

*Madison County


Niagara County

*Niagara County


NY Rising Communities Spring 2014


Bay Shore


Blooming Grove Town


Chenango Town

Clarkstown Town

Endicott Village

Fulton Town

Georgetown, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin


Middleburgh Town

Middletown City


Rye City

Schoharie Town

Schuylerville, Throgs Neck, Edgewater Park

Springfield Gardens South, Brookville

Suffern Village

Tioga Town

Wallkill Town

Windham Town

Yonkers City