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Schumer discusses local economic issues in Montgomery Co.

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Updated: 1/22 4:48 pm

FONDA, N.Y. - Montgomery County has faced some challenging issues including, jobs, flood recovery, and the survival of municipalities and Senator Schumer has pledged his commitment to helping the residents.

Senator Charles Schumer sat down with Montgomery County's new government in an effort to help officials reach economic and recovery goals. Consolidating municipalities is expected to be in the county's future.

Matt Ossenforth Montgomery County Executive said "Consolidation is tough because you're talking about identify but I think the way forward is shared services. We can provide a lot of savings to other localities within the county because we can pool all the resources."

Senator Schumer told officials he would help with their plan to save money.

"I've told our chairman of the Legislature that I would look for some expertise to help give the county some guidance in how they might begin going about that," said Senator Charles Schumer.

Also part of the discussions on Wednesday was creating jobs, which is a top priority for Ossenforth.

"We have a plan for a regional business park that isn't in the flood zone and frankly if we can work together municipality and municipality and get some revenue sharing deals done and get the mechanisms in place to get it shovel ready I think we have a chance to have a very large employer in there," continued Ossenforth.

The county hopes to remove some eye sores, something Schumer has also pledged to help.

"We need some help with the demolition of some of our buildings here that are old and may have asbestos in them so we're going to see if we can do that," said Schumer.

Montgomery County has faced persistent flooding. Officials want to protect buildings that have flooded in the past including the county office building and department of public works.

David Oliver, a resident of Fonda said "The water got up this high see this rift here all the way through here the whole thing."

The 67-year-old hasn't been able to repair flood damage from 2006 and he said FEMA only gave him enough money to repair his garage roof.

"It should be controlled but they should look at that. The flow and where it's going and what it does affect," said Oliver.

Schumer and Ossenforth spoke about how the senator can help with flood recovery and preparedness.

"So I am going to work very hard now that we've gotten more money for flood gauges to see that they're put on the relevant bodies of water right here in the Mohawk Valley to make sure people get a warning," said Schumer.

Senator Schumer said he will also push for more money for mitigation. Ossenforth said buildings like the county office building and DPW have suffered repeated damage.

"Our county buildings are in a flood zone and its costing us a lot of money so that is something he's committed to working with us on and also extending some state dollars to the western part of the county that might not necessarily be there right now," continued Ossenforth.

Schumer said funding for flood gauges has been secured but now he must fight to make sure they reach Montgomery County.

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