Local pols wait for Sandy numbers

Story By: PEGGY SPELLMAN HOEY
1/24/2013


Mastic Beach and other village officials are in a holding pattern, patiently waiting for the $50 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid Congress approved to assist municipalities and homeowners in rebuilding their damaged properties.

Mayor Bill Biondi said that the cleanup of Sandy alone cost the village in the neighborhood of $700,000. He said the number of houses that have to be raised must also be taken into consideration. He said officials estimate about 100 homes need to be raised to further protect them from future storms and bring them up to Federal Emergency Management Agency standards. 

“We are just waiting for the money to start trickling down,” he said.

Village officials would also like to see a seawall constructed to protect the village and Riviera Drive, elevated similar to the way other roadways are protected across Long Island. One of the models the village is looking at concerns a municipality in Maryland.

Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri said officials estimate between $1 million and $1.5 million in damage village-wide. The primary damage done to the village’s property was at Mascot Dock, with the debris removal alone estimated at about $50,000.

“There are people with much more damage then we have,” Pontieri said, adding that workers from the village spent about four weeks aiding Lindenhurst, where many houses were underwater. “You can imagine Babylon, and the Mastic Beach and Shirley area out east. We are very fortunate that we have the infrastructure in place to protect the people in the community.”

Suffolk Legis. Kate Browning, whose district includes the Mastic/Shirley area including Smith Point County Park, said she did not have a full estimate of the damage caused by Sandy. Browning said that since Congress only approved the funding last week, there really is no way to gauge how long it will take before the money makes its way down to the county’s coffers.

Jokingly she said, “We would like to get the money as soon as possible.”

Bellport Mayor Will Veitch was unavailable for comment on deadline. But village officials there estimated Sandy would end up costing their coffers between $1.5 and 2 million to get the village’s recreational amenities — including its beaches, marina and golf course — back to where they were before the storm made landfall.

Brookhaven Town officials estimate the damage town-wide at about $60 million, including $6 million to Brookhaven properties and facilities.