LaCarrubba said that new railing and lighting would be part of the base cost, because they would be brought up to current building codes, and that FEMA would determine the percentage it would cover above the base cost once the city submits a storm-mitigation plan for the boardwalk, the sixth step in a 10-step plan that officials have outlined for its reconstruction. He also said that the city would seek funding through state grants.
“[FEMA] will pay upwards of 125 percent based on cost-benefit analysis and other things that they look at,” LaCarrubba said, adding that the agency considers historical factors such as damage to the boardwalk in past storms. “We have an opportunity to do this once and do this right now, and we’ll fight for whatever money we can get to make sure that the city is paid whole on this.”
The next step is creating design specifications and requesting bids for the construction. The city expects to award a construction contract by the first week of April.
“It’s our goal to see sections of the boardwalk open as quickly as possible, and we expect to have some sections open this summer,” LaCarrubba said.
Before the meeting, City Manager Jack Schnirman said that he is confident that the beaches — if not a completed boardwalk — will be ready for the busy season. “The beaches will be open this summer, and there will be sand on that beach,” he said. “There will be ticket takers, and we believe that there will be more food and beverage choices than before. This will obviously be a different summer, but we’re all going to work together to make it a successful summer for all of Long Beach.”