Tag Archives: rebuilding

Cuomo seeks Breezy Point elevation study, signs bill blocking ‘red tape’


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYGovCuomo

Along with signing a bill to keep “red tape” from strangling continued efforts to recover from Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in Breezy Point on Friday that the state would embark on an elevation study for the area.

Located on the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula, Breezy Point was one of the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The neighborhood was flooded by the superstorm’s surge, and over 100 homes were destroyed by a wind-fueled inferno that firefighters were unable to reach and fight.

The community is still recovering nearly three years later, Cuomo noted, and the state is working to help fortify the shoreline with stronger dunes and seawalls. Even so, with weather patterns changing across the globe, the governor stressed that further planning and preparation are needed to prevent a repeat of Sandy’s destruction.

“I would love to be able to say to you that Sandy was one in a million and it’s never going to happen again. The problem is, I don’t believe that,” Cuomo said. “We are seeing weather patterns we have never seen before…I don’t care what you call it, but let’s prepare for it.”

Cuomo said he would seek funding for an elevation study to examine Breezy Point and see “what it would take to actually elevate the homes to a point where, if this happens again, we don’t have the same type of damage.”

“Let’s build back, but let’s build back better than before,” Cuomo added.

In the interim, Cuomo penned on Friday a bill granting a two-year extension to legislation waiving the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) requirements for Breezy Point homeowners still rebuilding their damaged properties. The bill — sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and state Senator Joseph Addabbo — releases homeowners from being subject to an extensive review process that could take up to 18 months to complete.

Cuomo initially signed the bill in 2013, and last year penned his signature to a one-year extension. Goldfeder hopes that this two-year extension will allow Breezy Point “to finally nip this thing in the bud.”

“Nobody in Breezy Point has to worry about the red tape,” he said.

“We have businesses that are coming back. We have people coming back to their homes,” Addabbo added. “We are moving forward, but there is so much more to do.”

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By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks.” Read more [LIC Post]

Transformed Factories Prosper in LIC’s Development Boom

“The renowned Scalamandre Silks company once dyed silks for the Kennedy White House and the Hearst Castle where Scott Kushner and his 10 employees now produce videos and reality shows. At the start of this year, after working out of Manhattan for 20 years, Mr. Kushner moved MediaPlace into a section of the bottom floor of the industrial warehouse developer Time Equities has fashioned into today’s Silks Building in Long Island City.” Read more [Commercial Observer]

Far Rockaway Job Fair Brings Sandy Rebuilding Work to Area

“A job fair will look to connect residents with Hurricane Sandy-related rebuilding and resiliency work. The Oct. 15 fair in Far Rockaway is organized by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Recovery Operations, Workforce1 and other city agencies to help get residents hired on rebuilding projects.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Rockaway residents promised involvement in rebuilding


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

State Senator Malcolm Smith has vowed the Rockaways will be united in recovering from the devastation of Sandy, and that residents who have suffered will have a role in determining how to use billions of dollars in federal aid coming to the area.

“We are going to do a meeting every month from now until next year at this time,” Smith said, “so that you have an opportunity not only to hear our report as to what we think is going on, but you can get back to us and tell us whether it’s going on or not.”

At a Thursday, December 13 forum to gauge how federal relief money should be spent, residents took to the floor to tell elected officials where the money needs to go. The Senate task force, co-chaired by Smith and Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza, can then take this information back to Governor Andrew Cuomo to ensure the money is allocated to the area for what is most needed.

Better infrastructure, community engagement and more jobs are some of the things Rockaway residents said the peninsula needs moving forward from the storm. Some suggested raising houses a level up to prevent some of the damage caused by flooding when the ocean met the bay. An architect recommended homes be rebuilt with energy efficiency to keep the cost of living at a decent price.

Sharon Plummer, whose son was murdered five months ago on Beach 38th Street and Seger Avenue, implored Smith and other officials to use some of this funding for after school programs that could eventually decrease crime in the area.

Along with promising a monthly meeting, guaranteed for at least a year, Smith said people from every corner of the peninsula have to work together on this task force.

“This is the first night of the beginning of a 12-month process in which the Rockaways is going to be completely united,” Smith said. “Sandy was an equal opportunity destroyer. She didn’t care if you were black, white, poor, rich — it didn’t matter.”