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Friday, December 19, 2014

Village employees worked about 3,600 hours of overtime after Hurricane Sandy, mostly to clear trees that fell in streets and on homes and cars.
Sandy Aftermath
Valley Stream storm costs top $400,000

The cleanup of Hurricane Sandy has cost Valley Stream more than $400,000 so far, but village officials expect that most of that money will be reimbursed by the state and federal governments.

Village Treasurer Michael Fox said that storm-related costs already add up to $401,000, but a final tally could still be weeks away, as officials continue their efforts to put Valley Stream back together. The bulk of the costs are garbage disposal fees and employee overtime.

Fox said that he expects 75 percent of the village’s expenses to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and another 12½ percent by the state. Valley Stream would pick up the rest, about $50,000. In a budget of $34 million, Fox said that amount can easily be absorbed, categorized as storm overtime costs, as long as Long Island doesn’t suffer a bad winter.

Valley Stream is eligible for reimbursement because a state of emergency was declared. Fox said that the village also got money back for its costs associated with Tropical Storm Irene last year.

Hurricane Sandy knocked down hundreds of trees in the village, including 165 on village streets alone, which had to be cleared immediately to makes roads passable. Numerous trees — along with countless large limbs and smaller branches — also fell on homes, in backyards and in village parks.

Trees and branches were taken to the Public Works facility on Arlington Avenue before being hauled away by Jamaica Ash, the village’s carting company. Garbage disposal fees from the storm totaled $201,000, and also included the removal of bulk items such as couches, mattresses and appliances that were thrown out by the few dozen homes that flooded along Hungry Harbor Road and surrounding streets.

Overtime added up to $188,000. Fox said that village employees were working long hours in the days following the storm, cleaning up. Most worked four additional hours per day.

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