Rye Brook Dips Into Contingency To Clean Up After Sandy

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The Rye Brook Board of Trustees voted to use money from its contingency fund to pay for worker overtime during Hurricane Sandy as well as continued tree cleanup. Photo Credit: Reader Contributed

RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Storm debris throughout Rye Brook is gone in the six weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit the area, but the village is still playing catch-up to pay for the results of the storm.

The village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to modify the village budget by dipping into the contingency fund, sewer account and unallocated insurance to pay for worker overtime and tree cleanup.

Overall, budgets for the village offices, police, fire and highway maintenance will receive a total of $105,000 from the contingency fund to pay for overtime costs resulting from Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re very fortunate we do have contingencies,” said Mayor Joan Feinstein, adding that the village is seeking well over $200,000 in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The expected aid will go toward reimbursing these expenses, said Village Manager Chris Bradbury. However, the village may not receive any aid before the end of the fiscal year on May 31, 2013, leaving the budget’s contingency fund significantly drawn down.

A total of $30,000 from the unallocated insurance account along with $10,000 from the sewer district account will pay for supplemental tree cleanup services. About 70 trees fell on streets and in parks during the storm, and the village is still working to clear fallen trees from park areas.

While tree damage was significant on village property, the board also recognizes residents and business owners whose property needs restoration because of the storm. The board voted Tuesday night to waive fees for permits associated with cleanup and reconstruction resulting from the hurricane. All fees will be waived for building, demolition, electrical, plumbing, fence and wall permits as well as certificates of occupancy.

“I think this is really terrific and very sensitive to the needs of our residents,” Feinstein said of the decision to waive permit fees.

Applicants can submit affidavits describing the work and verifying that it is being done as a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. Those who already paid to apply for hurricane-related work permits can also apply for refunds. The deadline for the refund and the fee waiving applications is April 29.

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