Albany, NY - May 12, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York will dedicate a portion of the Federal Sandy funds to cover the cost of raising or relocating power lines to accommodate New Yorkers whose houses are still under construction and must be elevated to comply with codes. By covering this cost, ratepayers and homeowners will not have to foot the bill for this project. The Governor’s office, together with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), has developed a plan to cover the costs of raising or relocating its power lines without charging property owners, and to coordinate with municipal buildings department in the affected areas to ensure that building permits will not be delayed.
“We want to make sure that New Yorkers who are recovering from Hurricane Sandy do not face additional financial burdens or costs,” said Governor Cuomo. “The state is footing the bill for these adjustments to our power lines to help our communities recover and to make our state safer and more prepared for future natural disasters.”
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, sent a letter to Scott J. Mandel, City Council President of Long Beach, informing him of LIPA’s plans and how the state intends to cover the cost. Many homes throughout the flood zone including homes in Long Beach, the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Island Park, Oceanside, and Fire Island were severely damaged and will need to be rebuilt and raised to meet the applicable code requirements. New York State is fully committed to providing the assistance necessary to help homeowners rebuild in a mitigated fashion while also ensuring that ratepayers on Long Island do not shoulder the bills for related costs.
The letter is below:
May 10, 2013
Dear Council President Mandel:
On behalf of Governor Cuomo, I write in response to your letter of May 9 to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Your letter identified two important concerns that are affecting residents still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy: (1) who bears the cost of raising and relocating power lines to accommodate reconstructed homes that must be elevated, and (2) how LIPA will coordinate their power line work with local buildings departments to ensure that building permits can be processed for affected homeowners in a timely fashion.
I am pleased to report that the State of New York will dedicate a portion of the State’s federal Sandy funding to cover the utility costs of elevating power lines in these situations so that homeowners and ratepayers are isolated from such costs. LIPA, in coordination with our office, has developed a plan to cover the utility costs of raising or relocating its power lines in their entirety without charging property owners, and to coordinate with your buildings department (and other affected buildings departments across Long Island) to ensure that building permits will not be delayed.
We understand that homes throughout the flood zone were severely damaged and will need to be rebuilt, and that many of these homes will need to be raised to meet applicable code requirements. We are fully committed to providing the assistance necessary to help homeowners rebuild in a mitigated fashion while also ensuring that ratepayers on Long Island do not shoulder the bills for related costs.
I have copied John McMahon, who will contact your office today to schedule a meeting to discuss LIPA’s plan.
Thank you for your letter and your commitment to helping residents rebuild safely and rapidly.
Chairman of Energy and Finance, Office of the Governor
Marianela Jordan, Long Island Regional Representative for Governor Cuomo
John McMahon, COO LIPA