Governor Andrew Cuomo joined forces with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to launch the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program.
The program designates 102 communities across New York State to receive more than 750 million dollars for storm recovery.

Cuomo and Donovan met with over 200 community officials and planners in Albany today to kick off the program officially at a conference called "Building Back Better: New York State Storm Recovery Conference."

The Rising Communities program will help communities develop rebuilding plans that will be driven by the specific needs of each community.

Grants will be based on FEMA assesed damage levels as well as applications for new infrastructure and will be awarded after each community's plan is complete and submitted to the State for approval. The communities will be eligible to share in more than $500 million in funding the Governor worked with Congress to obtain earlier this year.

The move prompted positive reaction from local officials.

"By funding locally driven recovery plans, the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program will allow communities to implement reconstruction based on their own needs and resources," Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said. "This means localities will have individualized plans that will more effectively protect them in the future."

Chairman for the Herkimer County Legislature Vincent Bono said, "Under the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, Herkimer County can begin the rebuilding process by developing a plan that works for the community from the bottom up. The Governor has proved to us that we are not alone in this endeavor - that we have the State of New York and all of its citizens behind us."

Through the program, Herkimer, Oneida, Madison and Montgomery Counties are eligible for up to $3 million in funds.