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Fire Island village may ease summer construction moratorium to help Sandy victims

An aerial shot of Fire Island and a

An aerial shot of Fire Island and a look at the destruction caused by superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 31, 2012) Credit: Doug Kuntz

The Saltaire board of trustees explored easing the village’s usual summertime moratorium on construction to allow people to continue to work on their superstorm Sandy-damaged homes, during its monthly meeting Monday in Manhattan.

Outdoor construction in the village is usually put on hold from the Friday before Memorial Day until Sept. 15, according to Saltaire village code, and indoor construction is not allowed between June 15 and Sept. 15.

Several ideas to relax those restrictions were discussed at the meeting at the Hotel Pennsylvania, a session Mayor Robert Cox said would be the village’s last of the season that would not take place on Fire Island.

Trustee Frank Wolf said he was “totally in favor of a substantial liberalization of our rules” regarding construction during the summer. Local contractor Kenneth Larson — who spoke from Saltaire, where the meeting was webcast into a village building — said no work should be done in July or August but that being able to work throughout June and September, and for extended hours and during the weekends, would be helpful.

“We’re in dire need to fix customers’ houses,” Larson said.

Most board members said they were opposed to allowing construction on weekends. Cox said the board will vote on an amendment to the local law at its next meeting.

The board also will hold a public hearing at its next meeting in order to consider passing a local law to override the state 2 percent tax levy cap “just in case,” Cox said. He said the village has had to outlay substantial amounts of money in the wake of Sandy and hasn’t received all of its reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The village board will meet on March 9 in the Saltaire meeting room, 103 Broadway, at 10:30 a.m.

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