Valley Streamers take stock after Sandy

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Village employees were so far ahead in the cleanup effort, Fare said, that they were able to begin cleaning up downed trees at the parks over the weekend, a task that wasn’t expected to begin until after Election Day. Fare said that Hendrickson Park was a priority, since schools were expected to reopen on Wednesday. Many students use the paths there to walk to Central High School, adjacent to the park.

Crews were also taking care of loose branches dangling above the walking paths. Fare said he was concerned that those would fall during this week’s nor’easter.

As of Monday, 900 tons of fallen trees and branches had been brought to the public works yard on Arlington Avenue. Some sanitation crews were sent out just to clear brush.

The village will seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for storm costs, which village officials estimate could approach a half-million dollars.

Treasurer Michael Fox said that the biggest cost was employee overtime. The average employee worked four hours of overtime per day last week, and many worked over the weekend as well. The second-largest cost, Fox said, would be refuse fees from all the brush and garbage collected.

The village can get back 87 percent of its costs, including 75 percent from the federal government, but has to lay out the money upfront. “It’s approximately a year before you’ll see full reimbursement on all items,” Fox said, adding that the village was just recently reimbursed for Tropical Storm Irene last year.

Valley Stream got back more than $250,000 in aid for that storm. “This storm is going to surpass Irene,” Fare said of Sandy. “This storm was definitely twice as bad.”

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