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« New FEMA Aid For Residents and Businesses In New Jersey and Connecticut, Say Governors | Main | New York City Mayor Bloomberg Gives Overview of Progress on Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts »

NYC Temporarily Waving Fees For Construction Related To Damage From Hurricane Sandy

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just signed new legislation this week designed to give some additional financial relief to homeowners and businesses still dealing with property damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The mayor said during the bill signing ceremony that the legislation waives Buildings Department fees associated with applications, permits and inspections for demolitions and alterations, as well as the rebuilding and repairing of qualified buildings and systems damaged by the hurricane.

The legislation provides waivers for construction fees related to two distinct categories of damage.

In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, city inspectors went around and left red tags or other notations by the department on residences and buildings signifying that the damage was so severe that they were either unsafe to occupy or were completely destroyed.

These properties are now “eligible for the waiver of all fees associated with the alteration, demolition, or construction of new a buildings, including but not limited to electrical and plumbing work so long as the application is submitted on or after Oct. 30, 2012 and on or before Oct.31, 2014,” says the legislation’s fiscal impact statement.

 “For all other buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy that require electrical or plumbing work, fees related to such work will be waived if a licensed master electrician or plumber or fire suppression piping contractor certifies to the department that such damage is the result of the storm. The electrical and plumbing waiver is available for applications submitted on or after Oct. 30, 2012 and on or before April 30, 2013,” adds impact statement.

The department is estimating that the city will lose roughly $2 million in revenues, though “there will be no impact on expenditures by the enactment of this legislation.”

For those unaffected or minimally effected by the storm, where the memories might be fading, a New York City Council meeting report regarding the legislation, released late last month, reminded everyone that when Hurricane Sandy hit New York on Oct. 29, 2012, it “caused heavy flooding, power outages, and widespread damage to buildings throughout the city.

“Some of the more severe damage to property in the city took place in communities such as the Rockaways Peninsula in Queens, the South Shore of Staten Island, and the Red Hook and Coney Island communities of Brooklyn.

“Following the storm, the department inspected 80,000 buildings and properties in the areas affected by the storm and affixed to each building or lot a placard, indicating the condition of the property.

“Green placards specified that the property was hazard-free and with no restriction on entry, yellow placards indicated that there was some damage to the property and included instructions on entry limitations, and red placards meant that a building was seriously damaged and therefore unsafe to enter.

“A total of 1,040 properties were issued red placards by the department or were otherwise noted by the department in its files to be severely damaged or destroyed by the storm. Out of the 1,040 properties noted by the department, 222 were completely destroyed by Sandy.”

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