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Monday, March 30, 2015
Community News
Sandy group talking rebuilding
Committee will submit plan to spend $12M on projects in Bellmore-Merrick
Bill Kelly/Herald

A committee of local residents tasked with developing a plan to spend $12.1 million on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Bellmore and Merrick held its first meeting last week, at which committee members, a team of consultants provided by the state and a handful of residents discussed project ideas and offered input on how they believe the committee should move forward.

In July, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration was launching the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which set aside more than $750 million for dozens of communities across Long Island and upstate New York to rebuild after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy. The funding comprises more than $250 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds and $500 million in federal supplemental appropriation money, a small part of the $30 billion that Congress approved for New York last January.

New York Rising allocates specific amounts of money for each community based on “FEMA-assessed damage levels,” according to a Cuomo press release, including $25 million for Long Beach, $22 million for Oceanside, $18 million for Freeport and $14 million for Massapequa. Merrick can receive $6.4 million, and Bellmore, nearly $5.67 million. The funding will depend on the plan that the Bellmore-Merrick committee creates for “new infrastructure and other mitigation,” Cuomo’s release stated. Bellmore-Merrick could become eligible for an additional $3 million, depending on the state’s judgment of the strength of the committee’s plan, according to the Bellmore-Merrick committee’s co-chairmen.

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colettos

Our community suffered the most the days after the storm because of no heat and no electricity. I hope this committee uses the funds to help us endure less suffering after the next storm. There is absolutely no way to prevent us from getting hit with the next storm but we can prepare. Helping us get back to our homes the day after the storm. Helping to get to the people that stayed and weathered the storm. Allowing electric to be turned back on within a day or two. What we endured after the storm was a crying shame. Days for the gas meters to be checked. No electric for days because the transformers in the front of the homes, on the telephone polls, need a simple switch turned on with a long yellow rubber pole. Days of unnecessary suffering. The best was when homeowners were ripped off and had to pay hundreds of dollars because they were told they had to have a certificate, from the fire department, in order to get electric to their home. It was a crazy disturbing night mare and it escalated out of control when the Town building department employees walked the street trying to enter homes to get people to get permits for the repair work that needed to be done. Crying shame. Hope we use the funds to be prepared and organized in the event of the next storm. A step by step outline telling each company/department what needs to be done in order for the public not to suffer more than 2 days following the next storm. Wishing this newly created committee the very best and thank you for your service. Nancy Coletto

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