Additional Sandy Relief Announced at Stony Point Town Board

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

Stony Point – The Stony Point Town Board convened on April 9 to discuss recent developments in Sandy aid to affected areas of the town, explaining application procedures for federal assistance and progress with local communities.

Town Supervisor Geoffrey Finn and Councilwoman Luanne Konopko met with State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D – Stony Point) earlier on April 9 for a tour of Stony Point’s riverfront, examining the still-ruined homes and learning what funding mechanisms were available for continued recovery.

Finn explained to attendees, many of whom were from affected areas, that Rockland County is poised to allocate $3 million in the first round of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Thought he funds were slow to come in, they were expected to arrive incrementally and were not expected to be hindered by unforeseen circumstances.

“What we’ve learned over the last few days and weeks is that $11 million was supposed to come to the county through the state and through HUD,” Finn explained. “That is now down to about $8 million, but that is really not a bad thing because they’re going to be giving it to us. It’s just going to be coming in at different times. It’s not coming in at one shot. We’re expecting a lot more than that, but it’s a great start.”

Finn also explained the Rockland County Community Development Office was working with the owners of the ravaged Bamar Mobile Home Park to obtain additional aid totaling $660,000, at about $11,000 per home.

Konopko went on to explain additional federal aid programs which can be used by affected homeowners on River, Beach, and Grassy Point Roads. The federal funding comes through the state and distributed through the Office of Community Development.

This additional funding comes independently of both insurance payments and FEMA assistance. It can be sought by applying at www.nysandyhelp.ny.gov.

“The primary thing to do is to register,” Konopko explained. “Even if you are not sure if you’re eligible for assistance, anybody with questions should register for this website and then you will be contacted. You will be assigned a caseworker and you will be walked through.”

Since Sandy hit Stony Point, progress in areas such as the Bamar Mobile Community has been slow, with a lack of cooperation from the community’s landlord. However, the owners of the Bamar Community have finally begun to work with the county by seeking funding to replace 34 of the homes at the cost of $47,000 and set the price of the homes at the low cost gained by buying multiple replacement units.

“They’ve been a thorn in our side since the storm started, but I think we’re turning the corner now where they’re willing to step up and help us,” Finn said.