Pulaski needs help to repair damaged retaining wall

Two weeks after a devastating flood destroyed a retaining wall along the Salmon River, the Village of Pulaski is hoping the federal government will help pay the costs of a new wall.

The Mayor of Pulaski tells CNY Central the cost of replacing the wall is expected to hit one million dollars. He says that is equal to half of the village's entire budget.

Wheeler says he "is looking for grants and not loans" because he doesn't want to burden the taxpayers with the cost of a new wall.

On October 1, an estimated five inches of rain caused the Salmon River to swell to the point where the retaining wall was destroyed. At one point, the damage threatened the village's sewer system. Since then, crews have shored up the area where the wall once stood, but it may be a full year before a permanent wall can be constructed.

The mayor says he has been in constant contact with emergency management and government officials in both the state and federal governments about securing money to replace the wall. But in order to qualify for federal grants, the state would have to declare a disaster as a result of the October 1 rain event.

To do that, FEMA requires New York to prove it sustained at least $24 million in damages. The state's Homeland Security and Emergency Services Department is tabulating flood damage county by county. Oswego County submitted its estimate of $1,164,000 last Friday. Included in that estimate is $970,000 for Pulaski's retaining wall.

On Thursday, October 21, New York State and Oswego County officials along with representatives of FEMA will make an on-site inspection of Pulaski's wall.