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400 turn out for Oceanside rebuilding meeting
More than 400 Oceanside and Island Park residents attended a town-hall meeting Wednesday at Oceanside High School to find out the steps they need to take to rebuild their homes in the wake of Sandy.
Hempstead Town officials answered questions and provided information about the permit process, their efforts to conduct door-to-door home inspections pertaining to structural safety, and help available through mobile offices.
As part of the storm-recovery effort, the building department is waiving all permit fees for structural repairs and temporary housing trailers for residents, officials said. The town is also waiving building variance requirements for town residents who want to rebuild their homes at higher elevations to meet FEMA flood standards.
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Building department planning examiners have established mobile offices to answer residents’ questions, provide permit applications and discuss regulations. The mobile office will be in Oceanside Park on Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m.
Senior Councilman Anthony Santino said the town helped Sanitary District 7, which serves Oceanside, because it couldn’t handle the collection of more than 50 million pounds of debris. He also said more than 2,500 trees were downed in town, including about 165 trees in Oceanside.
But Oceanside resident Ellen Kornfield Fogel said she was not happy with what she said was a slow response from government officials immediately after the storm. Much of Oceanside didn’t have power for more than two weeks and mounds of trash piled up on curbs for more than a week until residents held a rally three weeks ago.
“I don’t understand why we need to have rallies to have people listen to us,” Fogel said.