Southampton Town Gets $1.7 Million From FEMA

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Southampton Town officials announced on Thursday that the town is receiving its first federal reimbursement for costs incurred because of Hurricane Sandy from the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The town will be receiving $1.7 million in federal aide, reimbursement for the costs of debris removal and cleanup following the storm, Town Comptroller Leonard Marchese told members of the Town Board at a work session on Thursday.

The town submitted some $2.2 million in bills from the cleanup to FEMA, of which the federal agency agreed to cover 75 percent. New York State is expected to contribute another 12.5 percent, or about $80,000. Town officials have also requested reimbursement for $385,000 in emergency protective measures in preparation for the storm. Mr. Marchese said the town expects to receive the same reimbursement rate from FEMA and the state, or $327,000.

Another $1.3 million in damage to town facilities, primarily beaches, is also being reviewed by FEMA officials for reimbursement. Last month, the Town Board gave its parks department the green light to begin making the repairs it needs to beach facilities to get them ready for the summer season, rather than waiting for the federal funding to be in place.

The town has already spent more than $3 million because of the storm, mostly in overtime salaries for town police, highway and parks employees.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office released some of the figures for how more than $1.7 billion in recovery aid coming to the state will be divvied up. The early allotments of federal money, just the first portion of what is expected to be more than $30 billion in aide and grant funding the state will ultimately receive, is primarily being earmarked for housing assistance to help residential property owners recover from the impact of the late October hurricane.

Almost $600 million will go to home reconstruction and repair and to making improvements that will prevent damage to houses in low lying areas in the future. Another $171 million is being dedicated solely to the purchase of houses in areas deemed to be at too high of a risk of future flooding and storm damage to be inhabited anymore.

Small businesses will also receive $415 million in grants and low-interest loans to help them recover from the impacts of the storm.

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