Acting Mayor Alden Smith led a town hall meeting Tuesday night to update Oneida residents on Governor Andrew Cuomo's Mohawk Valley and 2013 Flood Recovery Program. Smith was joined by members of the Oneida County Health Department, National Grid, the City Attorney, Chief of Police, and the City's engineer to lay out flood recovery plans and answer questions from the public.

Many questions asked by the crowd dealt with potential health hazards to people, pets and property. Members of the health department said that any contamination caused by flood waters should be minimal and would be naturally taken care of by the weather. They added residents should wait until next season to replant vegetable gardens in the interest of caution.

National Grid Regional Director for Central New York Melanie Littlejohn informed the attendees that the power company is doing everything possible to help residents get back on their feet. In addition to the program for business owners announced early this week, National Grid is working with NYSERDA to offer no-cost energy services to income-qualified households impacted by the flooding.

These services include measures to reduce your energy use such as:

-Insulation, heating system upgrades, high efficiency lighting, strategic air sealing, and replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers with high-efficiency models.

Littlejohn said these services will be provided to cover what private insurance and/or FEMA will not cover by a network of contractors at no cost to you.

You can apply by completing an EmPower New York Storm Relief Application. To have an application sent to you or to find out where to pick one up you can call 1-800-263-0960.