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Cuomo announces $20 million in aid to Lake Ontario homeowners

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday that the state will offer $20 million in aid to Lake Ontario shoreline homeowners whose property was damaged by this year's high water and erosion.

In 2017, when there were similar floods and erosion, the state committed $90 million to homeowner assistance, but a slow process handled through local nonprofit agencies kept the money from reaching property owners for months or years. More than 2,800 reimbursement applications eventually were approved.

This year, the $20 million is part of a $300 million commitment to Lake Ontario communities for infrastructure and economic development projects, Cuomo said in a radio interview Wednesday. Homeowners would apply for aid through their local governments.

Earlier this summer, Cuomo appointed a Regional Economic Development Initiative Commission for Lake Ontario.

Its chairmen, in a letter to local officials released Wednesday, said the state is allocating $15 million to each of eight affected counties for local projects and $160 million for "regionally significant large-scale economic development and resiliency projects."

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