Stony Point, Scarsdale see the first round of FEMA funds
Nearly five months after superstorm Sandy, two Hudson Valley towns are set to receive the first installments of federal relief for emergency costs that quickly racked up in the days following the disaster.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday that Scarsdale was awarded $115,015 while the Town of Stony Point received $140,333 -- amounts that are expected to rise in the coming months.
"From Long Island through New York City and up into Lower Hudson Valley communities like Scarsdale, Sandy's destructive path ripped through communities leaving significant damage in its wake," Cuomo said in a statement. "The town had to respond quickly with the resources it had available and also contract out to private entities given the vast amount of damage caused by the storm."
Wind gusts as high as 80 mph toppled trees onto power lines, closing 60 percent of Scarsdale roadways and leaving thousands of Con Edison customers without power for as long as two weeks after the Oct. 29 storm.
More than 7,200 tons of hazardous debris was scattered across the area, which called for extensive cleanup amounting to $1.4 million, according to John Goodwin, assistant to Village Manager Alfred Gatta.
Goodwin says the they expect FEMA to cover 75 percent of the total amount, while the state normally picks up 12.5 percent, leaving the municipality with the rest of the bill. He added that although taxpayers were hit with a 4.07 percent increase in taxes this fiscal year, Scarsdale's financial books aren't in trouble.
"We have to run a tight ship right now but we're running OK," Goodwin said. "All of these costs were unanticipated -- as you can't plan for a Hurricane Sandy -- but this will provide a lot of relief."
FEMA weighs many factors when calculating possible reimbursements to municipalities, including costs from demolition and construction, evacuations, inspections, emergency IT repairs, and sand and debris removal.
A spokesman from Cuomo's office said many applications are continuing to be reviewed and announcements for other reimbursements throughout the affected region should be announced in the coming weeks.
The Town of Stony Point in Rockland County -- which was heavily flooded and left dozens of families homeless for months -- was reimbursed for town costs including the clearing of roadways, sandbags, proper road signs during power outages as well as police, highway and parks and sewer department personnel.
Total town costs from the storm in Stony Point were not immediately available Friday.
"Superstorm Sandy not only left devastation in its wake in Ba Mar and on River Road and Grassy Point Road, but it was also a costly recovery effort," Assemb. James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) said. "This funding will go a long way towards helping the community continue to rebuild."