A committee of local residents tasked with developing a plan to spend $12.1 million on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Bellmore and Merrick held its first meeting last week, at which committee members, a team of consultants provided by the state and a handful of residents discussed project ideas and offered input on how they believe the committee should move forward.
In July, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration was launching the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which set aside more than $750 million for dozens of communities across Long Island and upstate New York to rebuild after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy. The funding comprises more than $250 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds and $500 million in federal supplemental appropriation money, a small part of the $30 billion that Congress approved for New York last January.
New York Rising allocates specific amounts of money for each community based on “FEMA-assessed damage levels,” according to a Cuomo press release, including $25 million for Long Beach, $22 million for Oceanside, $18 million for Freeport and $14 million for Massapequa. Merrick can receive $6.4 million, and Bellmore, nearly $5.67 million. The funding will depend on the plan that the Bellmore-Merrick committee creates for “new infrastructure and other mitigation,” Cuomo’s release stated. Bellmore-Merrick could become eligible for an additional $3 million, depending on the state’s judgment of the strength of the committee’s plan, according to the Bellmore-Merrick committee’s co-chairmen.