The Village of Mineola has estimated that with time, expenses and materials the cost for recovering from Hurricane Sandy is over $1.2 million.
Superintendent of Public Works Tom Rini presented the figures at the March 6 meeting of the village board at the village hall in a report describing the costs associated with the storm as he also prepares a report to be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reimbursement.
Rini described many of the cost estimates as “very general numbers except for our contractor numbers because those have been submitted.”
The village’s estimates for emergency contractors used during the first 7-10 days following the storm totaled $461,487, a loading and hauling services contract for debris removal after the first 100 hours for $25,443 and the cost of having about 71 locations with uprooted trees that caused upheaval damage to sidewalks, roadways and curbs at between $75,000-$80,000.
“Unfortunately because it’s not yet completed – the weather kind of conspired against us – we got most of them done and there’s three left and every time we go back and try to do them, we either get snow or rain,” Rini said of the delays being experienced, adding that he hopes to get it done within two weeks so as to submit that report. Weather also delayed some things like fence repair and it was noted that the severely-damaged batting cage at the little league fields was repaired only last week and the pool fence was fixed over the previous two days with the two projects costing an estimated $150,000.
Some repairs and property damage totals approximately $147,700 to the village “but as we continue to go through things I continue to find additional things that are occurring,” Rini said.
All costs of repair must first go through the village’s insurance company and all estimates have already been submitted. Rini said that he did meet with the insurance adjuster and the two toured the damaged areas in the village.
“He concurred with all of my findings,” Rini said. “But we’re going to have to work that through to see when we’ll start to get reimbursements for that.”
FEMA has agreed to pay regular time and overtime labor costs for the first 30 days of labor following the storm which for Mineola totals $311,000. Equipment costs ran $186,000 for one week. A hauling services contract for tree debris has also been submitted. At Wilson Park a new slide was ordered as well as playground equipment that was damaged. The roof of the department of public works garage and the solar panels on the roof were also only recently repaired, but “I just haven’t been able to tie it back into the system,” Rini said. “It’s a pretty long process going through a lot of this stuff, just getting estimates, cost estimates and working that.”
When added together all the costs of damages and worker time totaled an estimated $1,211,650.
Mineola did receive their first reimbursement check from FEMA which totaled $311,000.
Rini reported that FEMA changed their policy to no longer reimburse for tree stump removal after Hurricane Irene but stated that “I’m going to press and see what some of my colleagues are (doing). Considering that we had over 400 trees removed, it’s an expense so we’re going to continue to discuss that.”
He noted that all locations also have to be logged using GPS and “it’s a lot of work that’s got to be undertaken to get this thing the way the federal government wants it.”
The formula employed by FEMA for reimbursement is a three-way 75-12.5-12.5 percent share from federal, state and local, respectively of the total cost of recovery. On labor coast FEMA is allowing municipalities to submit 100 percent of the regular time, overtime and double-time, the first time that has happened to Rini’s knowledge. Last year New York state picked up the local portion of the reimbursement (25 percent) to make local municipalities whole after Irene.