Garden City spends $4.5M post-Sandy

A tree has fallen on a car on

A tree has fallen on a car on Kildare Road in Garden City. It was a common sight elsewhere in the village in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Karen Wiles Stabile

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Garden City Village has spent $4.5 million so far in post-Sandy cleanup efforts, overtime and other expenses, officials said.

During a village board work session Thursday night about the storm's aftermath, village auditor James Olivo said he expected the village would be reimbursed 75 percent from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and 12.5 percent from the state. He cautioned it could take 16-18 months to be reimbursed, so until then the village would use its own funds.

"The amount of money we would have to spend is massive," trustee Nicholas Episcopia said. "We have never had anything like this."

Recreation department director Kevin Ocker said he will propose planting 660 trees to replace the ones lost to superstorm Sandy. About 500 tree stumps were removed within a month after the storm, he said.

Ocker said he also would welcome Cornell University students to study the fallen trees and make recommendations about what trees should be planted. The village lost mostly red oak trees, which are the fastest growing and the most common in the village, he said.

"We want a mix" of tree species, Ocker said. "We don't want to ever again be in a position to plant one type."

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Ocker also said he would recommend installing generators for community and senior centers, so they could be used as warming centers.

Building department director Michael Filippon said his employees would prioritize the processing of building permit applications stemming from Sandy damages. The department received many inquiries for installing stationary generators after the storm, but not one application has been submitted, he added.

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