IRVING – It looks like Lake Shore Hospital in northern Chautauqua County has been given some financial breathing room, courtesy of the federal government.
On Wednesday congressman Tom Reed’s office announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending upwards of $5 million in disaster relief funding to go towards the hospital in Irving. The money will come from the flood relief package that is to go to Silver Creek and Gowanda, to help pay for the damages caused by the flood in 2009.
Last Saturday, Reed joined several state and local officials at a rally in Silver Creek to save Lake Shore Hospital. He said shortly before attending the rally, he received word that FEMA may be able help with the Lake Shore situation…
“I did reach out the regional director to FEMA right before we went up to that rally and he assured me he would be giving me an indication of where that FEMA application stands in regards to reimbursing the communities for the disaster monies that they are waiting on for 2009 forward, Reed explained on Monday, adding, “Why is that important? Because some of that money can be utilized to hopefully buy us a little more breathing room to keep the hospital open.”
In a media release, Reed says the money will be used towards capital improvements for Lake Shore, making it much more attractive to a potential buyer. Lake Shore Hospital was slated to close at the end of this month because of financial difficulties. It’s not yet known if the new funding source will help to keep the doors open after Jan. 31.
Both Senator Cathy Young and Assembly Andy Goodell, who represent Chautauqua County and much of the Lake Shore Service Area, applauded Reed in his effort to find and secure the FEMA funding.