October 25, 2013 | 2 comments | 1926 views
Long Beach boardwalk complete, with no cost to city
Cuomo said state will reimburse what FEMA does not
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Oct. 25 that the state would cover the portion of the Long Beach boardwalk rebuilding costs that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not, so the financial burden of the project will not fall to taxpayers.
The city held a grand reopening ceremony last Friday to celebrate the completion of the boardwalk. City, county and state officials gathered to screw in the last board, signaling the official opening of the 2.2-mile walkway.
Sen. Charles Schumer and Cuomo both spoke, touting the progress of the city’s comeback from Hurricane Sandy. “This boardwalk is a symbol,” Schumer said. “It’s a symbol that Long Island is back. And no storm, no danger, past, present or future, will keep the three million people of Long Island down.”
Though it was a day for celebration, both men pointed out that many residents still have not returned to their homes, and are awaiting state and federal funds in order to move forward. “We’ve made great progress over the past year, but that means absolutely nothing if you’re one of the people who’s not back in their home,” Cuomo said. “Overall, the progress is undeniable. But the job isn’t over until every person everywhere is back in their home, and we won’t tolerate any excuses.”
Cuomo and Schumer acknowledged that Sandy aid money has been slow to be distributed, but assured the crowd that they would continue to fight for still-displaced residents. “Today there is good news, but we’ve had bad news,” Schumer said. “Homeowners are not getting their money fast enough. It’s a new program … there’s been a lot of bureaucracy. So we need to do better. The second year of CBDG” — community development block grants — “will be strong, and it’s going to flow.”
Both men also spoke about who would be picking up the tab for the $42 million boardwalk. Cuomo said that FEMA would not reimburse the city for the use of tropical hardwood or the construction of the wave wall, which was installed to keep the ocean from coming up underneath the boardwalk during future storms.