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Babylon Sandy Clean Up Costs Could Top $30 Million

Officials hoping to have beaches repaired and operational by Memorial Day Weekend.

Nearly three months after Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage across Babylon, Town officials said cleanup and restoration costs from the historic storm could be as much as $30 million. 

"These numbers are astronomical and it will take a lot of money to bring our facilities back to where they were prior to Sandy," said Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez. 

Babylon's expenses for the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy currently total $5.5 million, according to Martinez. Approximately $3 million has been spent on removing storm debris along the coast while removing vegetative debris in the northern parts of the Town has cost another $2.5 million. Cleanup has still not been fully completed, as storm debris is still being removed along the coast. 

Martinez said inital damage assessments for the Town put the cost around $19 million, but as the town bids out jobs for repair work, that cost is expected to rise. 

Among the hardest hit areas of Town were and Venetian Shores Park. Sand replenishment to replace the more than 200,000 cubic yards of sand lost in the storm is expected to cost an estimated $10 million, Martinez said. 

Town officials have bids out to repair these facilities, including specific language that winning contractors are required to complete all work by Memorial Day weekend. 

"Our goal as a municipality is to have our facilities open by Memorial Day weekend," Martinez said. 

Contractors who do not meet these deadlines could face penalties. 

In the months ahead, Town employees will be working to fix local sidewalks that sustained damage caused by uprooted trees and storm drainage systems. Babylon has received estimates, but Martinez said he was not yet comfortable sharing those costs as work plans are still being finalized. 

He said FEMA will reimburse Babylon for 75 percent of its total Sandy cleanup costs, with New York kicking in another 12.5 percent based on previous storms. He has hopes reimbursement might be higher, taking the bill off local taxpayer's shoulders. 

"There has been discussion that FEMA reimbursement could be as much as 90 percent, and then I don't know what the state would pick up," he said. 

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