Local leaders: FEMA buyouts safe from shutdown

By Erika Mahoney

October 2, 2013 Updated Oct 2, 2013 at 11:54 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The government shutdown is impacting parts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but local leaders say flood buyouts will not be affected.

Town of Vestal Supervisor John Schaffer said Wednesday he's not aware of any issues because New York already has the FEMA funds.

Town of Union Supervisor Rose Sotak echoed the same message, saying money for the buyouts has already been allocated.

"As soon as we get the OK, that money can be electronically released," Sotak said. "And so we are just moving forward here at the town of Union to be able to start our complete buyout."

That means completing and mailing income verification forms to the State Emergency Management Office, one of the final steps in the process, according to Sotak.

Sotak said 70 out of 137 forms have already been mailed to Albany.

"We have residents coming in and out on a daily basis, so we're looking to hit that number. We do have 137 that are approved. Now not all of them will be coming in because some of them we are sending out of town."

Once the individual files are certified by the state and the money is wired, the town of Union will meet with the homeowners, conduct a real estate closing and present them with a check.