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Nassau bill would waive fees for Sandy repairs

A member of the charity group Samaritan's Purse

A member of the charity group Samaritan's Purse helps homeowners on Michigan Street in Long Beach strip their houses, destroyed by superstorm Sandy, Nov. 18, 2012. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Nassau property owners would see county fees waived for permits and inspections for reconstruction from superstorm Sandy under a bill proposed by County Executive Edward Mangano.

The county legislation would allow refunds for residents who already have paid county fees for repairs to their homes and businesses.

The proposal would direct county departments to waive fees for permits, inspections and certifications for repairs and new construction performed by the applicant or a contractor. Nassau also would forgo fees for mortgage recordings, sewer hookups, road opening permits and health inspections, said county spokeswoman Katie Grilli-Robles. The financial impact of the bill, which would expire at year's end, would be determined by the number of applicants applying for waivers, officials said.

Republicans and Democrats in the GOP-controlled county legislature said they were reviewing the legislation but otherwise declined to comment. The measure has not been scheduled for a vote. Residents would be required to submit a Federal Emergency Management Agency identification or case number and provide the county with a notarized statement that the waiver is connected to the storm. Refunds could be obtained by mailing evidence of payment and certifying that repairs were storm-related to the department responsible for the permit or service.

Residents would not be entitled to refunds or waivers for fees covered by a private insurance policy.Residents would be responsible for fees to their towns, villages and cities, although some have waived them.

The Town of Hempstead and the Village of Island Park waived permit fees for homeowners making repairs; the Town of Oyster Bay does not require a permit, as long as the home is restored to its original dimensions. North Hempstead is allowing residents to conduct emergency repairs before getting permits, but they are not waiving fees. Long Beach waived fees to demolish interiors of damaged homes, but not for new repairs.

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