July 31, 2013 | 298 views
After the Storm
Sandy funds to stream in
South Valley Stream to get $3 million for storm mitigation effort
Long-suffering Long Islanders may soon see some additional Hurricane Sandy relief from the federal government. A new program funded by Federal Supplemental Disaster Aid promises to bring nearly $150 million to the area, and will also feature a unique, bottom-up structure that will give residents influence over how the money is spent.
South Valley Stream will be allotted $3 million through the program, which was announced at a press conference on July 18 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He said the federal money would feed a Community Reconstruction Zones program, formulated to allow communities to establish teams of officials, residents and community leaders who would dictate where funding would be allotted, the governor explained.
“What we are trying to do today is a totally different approach,” Cuomo said. “If we have been going top-down, then [we need] bottom-up. What does the community think it needs to rebuild, and what are the best ideas and the best vision that the community has to rebuild? And let’s fund the community’s vision rather than asking the community to fit into the template established up above.”
Marc Tenzer, president of the Mill Brook Civic Association, is co-chairman of the planning committee for the South Valley Stream Community Reconstruction Zone. Tenzer said that the purpose of the committee would be to make recommendations to the state about ways to minimize damage from future storms.
The committee will work with representatives from the New York State Division of Coastal Resources, a division of the Department of State. “I’m excited to get involved in it,” Tenzer said. “This is a step in the right direction for our area.”
State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, who represents the 22nd District, recommended several local residents for the committee, including Tenzer. She said that community input would weigh heavily in the decision-making process, because it is residents who best understand the problems that need to be addressed. “This is a great program,” Solages said. “We have the ability to produce a project that will really benefit our community.”