Sandy funds to stream in
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She said that community members would suggest projects that they believe should be undertaken, while the state would make sure that all guidelines and specifications were being met, while providing information and resources.
Tenzer said he already has some projects in mind for South Valley Stream. The bulkheads at Brook Road Park need to be replaced, he explained, and the stream that runs through the community should be cleaned out so it can hold more water. “Our biggest problem is the waterways,” he said. “Even when it rains, the water just keeps coming up into people’s backyards.”
Cuomo said that plans for each community may take up to eight months to complete. After they are sent in and approved, he said, funds will be granted. He added that communities would be able to compete for bonus money, which would be awarded to those who maximize community involvement or regional collaboration, or show the most promise in terms of technology or urban planning.
A meeting of the South Valley Stream committee is expected to take place later this month, according to Solages, who said that she hopes a plan of action is formulated by December. Work would likely begin next year, she said, though that depends on the scope of the project.
Two members of the local committee include South Valley Stream residents Tricia Vanderbeck, a deputy parks commissioner in the Bronx, and Tamika Nater, an assistant school principal in Queens. Tenzer said they both took part in a meeting in Albany about the Community Reconstruction Zone program.
“Climate change is happening,” Solages said. “We all know that we’re getting more storms. Now is the time to start rebuilding our infrastructure.”
Slightly more than $145 million will go to 12 Community Reconstruction Zones in Nassau County. Additional money will be allocated to areas in Suffolk County, New York City and upstate. The allotments, Cuomo said, were based on the damage each zone sustained in Hurricane Sandy, as well as the assistance already awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.