Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today visited Mount Loretto to attend the inaugural meeting of the Staten Island New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee, where planning experts, community officials, and residents gathered to kick off the long-term rebuilding process following the major storms over the past two years.
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program launched earlier this year by the Governor and funded by the federal recovery dollars is designed to empower communities that suffered significant damage in recent storms to create and implement locally-oriented strategies to rebuild and better prepare for future extreme weather.
"Homeowners and businesses on Staten Island's East and South shores suffered some of the worst damage in New York State as a result of Superstorm Sandy," Governor Cuomo said. "After the storm, we promised to help Staten Island residents and businesses recover from the damage, as well as build back stronger to help them better withstand the force of major weather events. By bringing together residents, community leaders, and planning experts, the Staten Island Community Reconstruction committee will help guide a locally-tailored, long-term recovery plan that will make communities on Staten Island stronger and better prepared for future storms."
Located in 102 communities across the state, New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees are comprised of community leaders, experts, and officials who incorporate their communitys unique needs into their redevelopment strategies. Communities have eight months to prepare and submit their plans. Grant amounts will be based on FEMA assessed damage levels as well as applications for new infrastructure and other mitigation, and will be awarded once the communitys plan is complete and submitted to the State for approval. The communities will be eligible to share in more than $500 million of funding made available through the federal supplemental appropriation the Governor worked with Congress to obtain earlier this year.
The State will also award at least $250 million of the States FEMA-funded Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to New York Rising Communities to implement eligible projects contained in their plans. In addition, a $3 million bonus will be awarded for best plans in several categories, including community involvement, use of technology in planning, and best regional collaboration.
Communities on Staten Island are eligible for up to $25,000,000 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding through the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program.
Members of the Staten Island NY Rising Community Planning Committee include:
- David Sorkin (Co-Chair), Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
- Vincent Lenza (Co-Chair), Executive Director of the Staten Island Not-for-Profit Association
- Yasmin Ammirato, President of the Midland Beach Civic Association
- Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
- Thomas Barlotta, Committee Member, Vice Chair of Community Board 3
- Timothy Boyland, Registered architect in private practice and past director of the AIA New York State
- Ralph Branca, President and CEO of Victory State Bank
- David Businelli, Committee Member, Registered architect and owner of an architectural design firm on Staten Island
- Ronald M. Cerrachio Esq., Chief Clerk for the Hon. Robert J. Gigante
- Bobby Digi, Founder and Executive Director of Island Voice Inc.
- Dr. Victor Dolan, Member of Community Board 2 and resident of the East Shore.
- Betsy Dubovsky, Executive Director at The Staten Island Foundation
- Bobby Fisher, Retired NYC Police Detective and head of the Midland Beach Merchants Association
- Arkadiy Fridman, President of the Staten Island Community Center
- Dr. William Fritz, Interim President of the College of Staten Island (CUNY)
- Steven Grillo, Director of Projects at Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
- Farid Kader, Founder of a grassroots relief organization named Sandy Yellow Team
- Dana Magee, Chair of Community Board 2 and serves as the executive director and CEO of Community Resources
- John Malizia, vice president of the Fishermans Conservation Association and the Marine Fisheries Director for the Staten Island Tuna Club
- Janine Materna, President of the Pleasant Plains, Princes Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association
- Joseph McAllister, President of the South Beach Civic Association
- Thomas McDonough, Director of Rebuild and Client Services at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (Siller Foundation)
- Gonzalo Mercado, Executive Director of El Centro del Inmigrante and a coordinator of the Staten Island Immigrant Council
- Frank Moszczynski, Vice president of the Ocean Breeze Civic Association
- James Pistilli, Member of the Tottenville Civic Association
- Nicole Romano-Levine, Founding president of the New Dorp Beach Civic Association and a teacher at New Dorp High School
- Debi Vadola, Vice President of the Midland Beach Civic Association
- Dee Vandenburg, President of Staten Island Taxpayers' Association, Inc.
- Jack Vokral, Member of Community Board 2 and President of the National Lighthouse Museum