GOP eyes review of 'long delays' in Sandy reimbursements

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Eve Hough, 71, of Lindenhurst, stands on the

Eve Hough, 71, of Lindenhurst, stands on the property where the home she lived in for 37 years once stood. The waterfront home was seriously damaged by superstorm Sandy and had to be demolished. Hough applied for NY Rising funds in order to rebuild, but still hasn't received her check. (Nov. 1, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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Senate Republicans say they are weighing an investigation about the slow processing of superstorm Sandy aid requests.

Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) recently sent a letter to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery asking for a briefing about the delays. Newsday recently reported that just 4 of 4,000 Long Island homeowners who qualified for rebuilding aid have received checks so far.

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Marcellino, chairman of the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, told Jon Kaiman, who is Cuomo’s special adviser for Long Island recovery, that his committee wants information about the rollout of federal funds. Kaiman is set to meet the Long Island Senate delegation Dec. 19 in Farmingdale.

“Specifically, what is the geographic distribution of the applicants?” Marcellino wrote. “Are they currently in their homes or renting temporary housing? Are they waiting to rebuild or for reimbursement after rebuilding? Does the program have enough staff? Do you expect to close the program to applicants in the future, similar to New Jersey?”

Marcellino noted that his committee is “reviewing the situation to see if it warrants a full investigation.”

Cuomo officials have pointed out that the federal government has made the eligibility screening more rigorous after it found Hurricane Katrina aid being misspent in some instances.

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