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Disaster loan fee waiver OK’d, free ID cards

The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2

The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2 1/2 months after superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island area. (Jan. 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) Wednesday announced State Assembly passage of legislation he sponsored to exempt residents from paying the state filing fee for federal Small Business Administration disaster loans.

State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) is sponsor of a similar bill in the Senate.

In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, some property owners applied for and were granted SBA disaster loans, which are required to be reported to the county clerk. This reporting requirement resulted in mandatory fees imposed on real property owners, similar to that of a mortgage. In addition to exempting the fee in the future, the bill would reimburse residents who have already paid.

Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell, who collects such fees and had pushed for the bill, said the average state fee is about $90 and that this law is meant to be in effect from Oct. 28, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2013. The county fee of about $150 already has been waived.

“As families and small-business owners still struggle to rebuild in the wake of superstorm Sandy’s destruction, every penny counts,” Weisenberg said. “Waiving the state portion of these fees is another way we can help our fellow New Yorkers rebuild.”

Once the legislation becomes state law, the county must opt into it for its residents to enjoy the benefits. — SID CASSESE

Free ID cards to be offered to seniors

State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick) will partner with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in sponsoring a free senior ID card program today from noon to 3 p.m. at the Freeport Library, 144 West Merrick Rd. in Freeport.

County residents ages 65 and over are eligible to receive a free senior ID card, officials said. No appointments are necessary. The wallet-sized senior ID card includes a photo and the holder’s personal data, and emergency contact phone numbers, which could be useful to paramedics in a medical emergency.

For more information, call Fuschillo’s office at 516-882-0630. — AISHA Al-MUSLIM


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