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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mangano: CDBG funding to help city's post-Sandy repairs
County secures federal dollars for Long Beach rebuilding efforts
Penny Frondelli/Herald
City officials and residents celebrated the reopening Long Beach Martin Luther King Center on Aug. 31, which was closed for seven months as it underwent repairs following Hurricane Sandy.

County Executive Ed Mangano announced on Monday that the City of Long Beach will receive $625,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to address a wide range of community improvement projects in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“This federal funding will help Long Beach rebuild their beautiful beachfront community after the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy,” Mangano said in a statement. “Streetscapes, damaged parks, and community centers throughout Long Beach will be improved or upgraded.”

The community centers slated for improvements include the Martin Luther King Center, the Long Beach VFW Post 1384, the Long Beach Soup Kitchen, St. Mary's of the Isle Roman Catholic Church, the Long Beach Auxiliary Police, the Ice Arena, the Rec Center and Senior Center facilities that sustained damage from the storm. Mangano said that the funding will also be used to purchase a handicapped accessible bus and expand senior programs.

“These projects will improve the quality of life for City of Long Beach residents,” he said.

The funds are administered to the city through Nassau County, and are separate from CDBG funding for post-Sandy reconstruction projects through the NY Rising program.

“This is money the County Executive works to secure each year,” a spokesperson for Mangano said. “However, this year the money will be utilized to fund rebuilding efforts that are needed as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”

“The grant funding will be a great benefit to our community as we continue our recovery,” said County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach). “On behalf of all Long Beach residents, I thank County Executive Ed Mangano for his unwavering support of our communities. We are fortunate to have him.”

The city has been participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program since 1974, which allows communities to fund non-profit agencies, improve infrastructure to reduce blight and provide financial assistance to low-income residents.

Federal funding for the CDBG program has been at risk in recent years, and the city has seen a decline in CDBG dollars over the last several years. City Council President Scott Mandel, however, said that the administration worked “diligently” with Mangano to increase CDBG funding this year in the aftermath of Sandy.

“We are pleased to see an uptick this year,” Mandel said. “The money we are receiving will provide much needed support during this critical time rebuilding for our programs and facilities.”

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