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Fire Island debris-clearing plans to go to a vote

The Fire Island Planning Committee is holding a

The Fire Island Planning Committee is holding a weekday meeting in Manhattan on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 to discuss plans for New York Rising funding related to superstorm Sandy damage. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Brookhaven Town officials are moving ahead on removing superstorm Sandy debris from Fire Island homes, according to Supervisor Edward P. Romaine.

The town board will hold a special emergency meeting today to vote on resolutions giving FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers the authority to move ahead on debris-clearing plans.

Once the resolutions are approved, the estimated 2,200 Fire Island residents under Brookhaven jurisdiction will have to submit Rights of Entry forms to the federal agencies to allow them to proceed with hiring vendors and entering private property, Romaine said.

The ROE forms will be mailed to residents after today’s meeting, he said. FEMA requires a 75 percent response from the homeowners to move ahead with debris-clearing plans. The agency plans to hire barges to bring debris to an as-yet undetermined off-site location, Romaine said.

Romaine visited Fire Island properties Wednesday and said he anticipates debris collection to be “very labor-intensive.”

“We can’t use bulldozers,” he said. “It’s shovels and brooms.”

“These poor people out there whose homes were severely destroyed, they’re digging debris out and trying to carry it somewhere,” he added.


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