NEW YORK - Funding to cover local governments' costs to repair and rebuild infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy was announced on Wednesday. As part of FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program, local governments and public entities are required to cover ten percent of the costs incurred as a result of federally declared disasters. For local governments and public entities eligible to receive Sandy funds outside of New York City, the total match cost is more than $175 million, of which $145 million will go to Nassau and Suffolk counties. To ensure that these communities can continue with their recovery without the need to borrow funds, dip into emergency reserves, or pass the costs along to local taxpayers, Governor Cuomo today directed that state-allocated Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funds be used to cover the localities' costs.
"After the devastating storms New York has experienced over the past few years, the State has been partnering with communities to help them recover and build back better and stronger than before,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Following Storms Irene and Lee, the State stepped up to cover the costs facing local governments. Today we are pleased to announce that once again, we are going to help municipalities pay to rebuild, bolster critical infrastructure, and work to revive their local economies in the process.”
The FEMA public assistance program covers immediate post-storm response needs like debris removal and emergency protective measures, and provides funds for the repair and rebuilding of publically owned infrastructure that was damaged including roads, schools bridges, parks, hospitals, police stations, fire houses, water and waste water treatment facilities and other public facilities. As a federal match program, FEMA pays for 90% of a project cost with the applicant paying 10% of the cost, leaving the municipalities to cover the balance. Through the Governor’s action, this allocation of CDBG-DR funds will make up the difference and make public entities whole.
“Superstorm Sandy had a devastating impact to communities across New York,” said Storm Recovery Director Jamie Rubin. “In addition to impacting housing stock, Sandy ravaged public infrastructure and government buildings, and many of these facilities are the backbone of communities. Restoring these without increasing the financial burden on a community in recovery is the right thing to do.”
The current allocation provides the local match for eligible entities in the following counties: Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster. This program does not provide the match to repair and rebuild structures in New York City. Similar to NY State through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, New York City has its own allocation of CDBG-DR funds, which can be used to address the FEMA PA local match for applications within the five boroughs.