Maloney expects Congress to clear a path for local “pre-disaster mitigation,” something that could help Newburgh


NEWBURGH – Standing almost directly above a potentially catastrophic
sinkhole recently discovered under Water Street in Newburgh, U.S. Rep.
Sean Patrick Maloney said he expects action in Washington next week that
could help.
“The legislation that we will pass next week will include additional
flexibility and resources for communities to prioritize their own projects,”
Maloney said. “Something I’ve worked very hard on so that
the county executive and the mayor will have the capacity to devote4 resources
where they are most needed.”

Rep. Maloney, podium, discusses his call for federal funding while
City Manager Michael Ciaravino, Deputy Orange County Emergency
Services Commissioner Craig Cherry, County Executive Steven Neuhuas
and Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy listen

FEMA has not been funded since 2011, which is keeping the agency from
accepting new applications for pre-disaster mitigation for emergencies
like the sinkhole in Newburgh.
“If we don’t fix the roof while the sun is shining, it’s
going to be a lot harder to do it when we’re in the middle of a
storm,” Maloney said.
Joining the congressman were Mayor Judy Kennedy, City Manager Michael
Ciaravino, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus and acting Deputy Commissioner
of Emergency Management Craig Cherry.
“We’re frustrated that there’s priorities elsewhere
around the world for the very tax dollars that could help us repair this
magnificent city,” said Ciaravino, suggesting fixing up the homefront
should be top priority.
Ciaravino said on Monday, they will begin serious internal surveying,
with a camera, to determine the extent of the problem, some 11 feet underground,
and whether the city can do the work with its own public works crew.