Sandy group lists Bellmore-Merrick rebuilding priorities

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n Creating “community-scale” backup power generation and distribution systems.

— Making available post-storm housing.

— Creating an “integrated communication and information point network” for emergencies.

— Implementing a “business continuity program” in business areas such as Merrick Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway.

Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, of Bellmore, co-chairman of the Bellmore-Merrick Planning Committee, and the Nassau County health commissioner, said that the “priorities” list did not rank project proposals in any specific order. A timeline Ambrosini outlined at the meeting indicated that Arup would analyze the risks, benefits and costs of the various project proposals between now and mid-March. It gave just an 18-day window for “public support evaluation” between March 14 and a March 31 deadline for NYRCRP Planning Committees’ to submit their final proposals to the state.

“Our proposals should be … viable, not pie-in-the-sky, billion-dollar proposals. We shouldn’t propose spending money on projects that money is already earmarked for,” Eisenstein told his fellow committee members.

Many of the construction projects discussed at the Jan. 13 and earlier Bellmore-Merrick Planning Committee meetings would require approval by the Town of Hempstead, which controls local zoning. So far no town representatives have attended any of the committee’s half-dozen meetings, though Joe Baker, the committee’s other co-chairman and president of the South Merrick Community Civic Association, said he has made repeated phone calls to Town Hall to encourage the town’s participation.

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