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From the Desk of Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt: October 5, 2011

Grants Available for Appliance Replacement

“Tropical Storms Irene and Lee left many of my constituents with significant damage to their homes and belongings,” said Assemblyman Tom McKevitt. “Fortunately, New York State will be receiving $8 million in federal stimulus funds for the replacement of appliances ruined by flooding, and I want my constituents to be aware that they may qualify for assistance from these grants.”

Homeowners and renters may qualify for grants ranging from $100 for the purchase of a dehumidifier to $2,500 for a boiler. Businesses will not be eligible for these grants and the grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants will cover the cost of the appliance up to a capped amount, and thus may only cover part of the item’s total cost.

Applicants will be required to attest that their appliance loss was due to the storms, and that its replacement is not covered by insurance or financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These grants will be retroactive for purchases back to August 29 for damage from Tropical Storm Irene and September 9 for losses from Tropical Storm Lee.

Generally, replacements must meet Energy Star specifications; however, clothes dryers and electric hot water heaters are not Energy Star qualified, and thus, rebates will be provided only for models on the program’s qualifying product list. These product lists are available at www.nysappliancerebates.com. There are gas hot water heaters that are Energy Star qualified and they are eligible for rebates.

The following rebate limits will be placed on these appliances: refrigerators, up to $350; clothes washers, up to $250; clothes dryers with moisture sensor (higher efficiency), up to $250; dehumidifiers, up to $100; furnaces, up to $2,000; boilers, up to $2,500; and hot water heaters (electric-higher efficiency or gas), up to $400.

Assemblyman McKevitt urges his constituents who may qualify for this program to make their application as soon as possible. Homeowners and renters can apply to NYSERDA at www.nysappliancerebates .com or by calling 1-877-697-6278.

McKevitt added, “I know that the recent storms we experienced caused not only physical damage to our homes but financial damage to our wallets as well and I am very pleased that this grant program was announced to soften the financial hardship on my constituents who are facing the sudden need to replace expensive home appliances.”

Constituents can follow Assemblyman McKevitt on Facebook at http://www.face book.com/Assemblyman TomMcKevitt to receive updates on this and other current issues.

Elimination of DMV Eye-Test Makes Roads Less Safe

Assemblyman Tom McKevitt spoke out against a decision by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to eliminate its vision-test requirement when renewing a driver’s license. According to the measure, which took effect Wednesday, those renewing a license would be allowed to “self-certify” online as to the level of their vision in lieu of an in-person eye examination. McKevitt noted the increased dangers on the roadways due to such a decision.

“The Department of Motor Vehicles has chosen to make roadways less safe for both motorists and pedestrians,” said McKevitt. “I applaud the decision by Governor Cuomo to put a halt to this dangerous measure until a further review can be undertaken. The vision test requirement not only kept those with poor vision from the road, but also alerted some to the fact that they might have eye disease. I am glad to see that the DMV has been stopped, however temporarily, from allowing people to ‘self-certify’ that they have passed an eye exam.”

For those interested in more information on this or any other state matter, they may reach Assemblyman McKevitt at his district office at 739-5119 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .