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Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery releases preliminary report

ALBANY -  After touring New York’s hardest hit areas and hosting stakeholder roundtables across the NYC metro area, the Bipartisan Task Force issued its  first report with 10 preliminary recommendations to aid recovery efforts and assist in future disaster planning

Less than three months after Senate Co-Leaders Jeffrey D. Klein (D- Bronx/Westchester) and Dean G. Skelos (R- Rockville Center) launched the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Task Force has released its preliminary report and recommendations on Sandy relief and storm planning. The preliminary report and recommendations come after Task Force members toured storm damaged communities across the New York City Metro Area, including Freeport, Island Park, Oceanside, The Rockaways, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Hudson Valley.

Following each tour, the Task Force held roundtable discussions with over one hundred community, private sector, and government stakeholders, including major insurance carriers and senior members of the Cuomo administration. Today’s preliminary report outlines the Task Force’s key findings from these roundtables and sets forth 10 preliminary recommendations. The Task Force will release a final report in the coming weeks.

The Task Force’s key findings and preliminary recommendations
include:

  • Developing certification and licensing procedures for mold remediation contractors.
  • Supplementing existing business loan programs with direct grants to businesses severely impacted by Sandy.
  • Working with the Department of Financial Services to expedite insurance claim check processing to ensure that homeowners get the resources they need to rebuild their homes as soon as possible.
  • Developing better statewide protocols for gasoline distributions so that the energy needs of first responders and other critical service providers are properly prioritized.
  • Exploring the use of soft barriers as a means of mitigating future storm damage.

“The Task Force’s work is emblematic of the meaningful, bipartisan results we want to deliver for all New Yorkers”, Klein said.   “I want to thank the Task Force’s members and their staff for the hard work and the long-hours they’ve continually dedicated to this critically important effort. I look forward to implementing the Task Force’s final recommendations in the weeks ahead.”

Task Force Co-Chair Senator Andrew Lanza (R,I,C- Staten Island) said, “Now that the state budget process has begun and we’ve seen first-hand the devastation and obstacles our neighbors are having to endure, it is critically important that we ensure federal, state and local resources are maximized and targeted to bring swift relief for short-term and long-term recovery.”