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Letters: Aid for those with damage

A house is inundated with flood water from

A house is inundated with flood water from superstorm Sandy in Center Moriches. (Oct. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

Regarding your editorial “Give Sandy victims a break” , Newsday fails to mention an important element of the pending legislation: loans with long repayment terms for economically distressed communities affected by the superstorm.

While the federal government appears to be moving quickly to provide an aid package to our region, much of it will be used to rebuild public infrastructure.

We should not neglect the substantial assistance needed by the residential, commercial and industrial components of our regional economy — particularly in low-income communities that were struggling before Sandy devastated the region. From small businesses in neighborhood shopping districts to industrial firms employing thousands, and from single-family homes to multifamily rental housing, large gaps exist between the financial resources needed to rebuild and the capital available.

Four effective federal tools can be harnessed at virtually no cost to the federal government to accelerate the rebuilding process: the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) and 504 loan-guarantee programs. Some of the repayment terms are as long as 25 years.

Studies of these programs all demonstrate that the jobs created generate federal, state and local tax revenue that offset the costs of the programs by a wide margin.

Robert W. Davenport, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is the president of the National Development Council, a nonprofit community development organization.

Hopefully, the Long Island Power Authority and our local governments have learned an expensive lesson from superstorm Sandy. In the future, I hope that they will not plant trees at the curb line and will have an effective tree-trimming program.

These issues left major limbs protruding around the wires. As we all observed with Sandy, when the trees went down, so did the wires.

I suggest new laws to prohibit the planting of trees within 25 feet of any power line.

Richard Albanese, West Islip