Long Beach financing residents' bulkhead fixes

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Long Beach is offering a financing program designed to help its bayside residents repair bulkheads damaged by superstorm Sandy.

The city plans to issue a bond to pay to repair its own bulkheading and offer residents a chance to borrow money to fix their own, city officials said. Residents who opt into the program will repay the money on their tax bill, officials said.

The bond program will allow residents to take advantage of bulk pricing and long-term financing, city manager Jack Schnirman said. Repairing residential bulkheads often can cost more than $30,000, and the bonding program likely will reduce that figure for residents, officials said.

The city also will benefit from repaired residential bulkheading because the bayside bulkheads protect the city from flooding, Schnirman said.

"Bulkheading is only as good as its consistency," Schnirman said.

More than 300 residents could potentially opt into the program, officials said.

The city also is offering residents assistance in securing permits for bulkheading work from the city's building department and state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Ken McGuire, a resident of the Canals neighborhood whose 50 feet of bulkheading were damaged by Sandy, said he might opt into the program. Securing contractors to do the work has been difficult, he said.

"If this helps get contractors down here, that's great," McGuire said.

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More information about the program is available at www.longbeachny.gov or by calling City Hall at 516-431-1000.

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