Senator Charles Schumer sent a message to anxious New Yorkers, still waiting to receive repairs and funds for their Superstorm Sandy devastated homes: the money is coming. Newsday is reporting that Schumer promised that the city will receive $6.3 billion in aid in 2014, a figure that will hopefully address the cash shortages for the Sandy-related projects of 2013.
Last week, we reported that city officials with the Bloomberg administration were worried that the “Build it Back” program was short about $1.9 billion. Schumer is now declaring that in 2014, of the $6.3 billion heading the city’s way, $1.4 billion will be used directly for homeowners affected by Sandy, nearly covering the shortage. Newsday reported on comments made by Schumer at a press conference promising the flow of federal dollars and acknowledged the hiccups in the process:
“The spigot is now open,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference in Manhattan. “A year from now, people will feel a whole lot better about the Sandy process than they do today.”
He acknowledged frustration with the pace of spending this year, blaming red tape and the need to establish new programs to disburse the funds. “It should’ve been quicker,” he said.
NBC News reported more fully on the money breakdown:
He said $2.5 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will go to New York communities in 2014 to pay for permanent projects as well as reimbursement for repairs already done.
Additionally, Schumer expects at least $1.5 billion in storm-related transportation projects in New York to receive funding.
Smaller pots of money will go to fund coastal protection projects, green infrastructure and health-related projects.
Schumer said another $207 million will be allocated to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan.
If Schumer’s words prove true, it looks like Sheepshead Bay could expect a good year come 2014. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.