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FEMA Urges Greenburgh To Apply For Assistance After Sandy

The Greenburgh Town Board hears from disgruntled residents at Wednesday's meeting about approval on the referendum for a lease with Game On.
The Greenburgh Town Board hears from disgruntled residents at Wednesday's meeting about approval on the referendum for a lease with Game On. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — FEMA representatives are encouraging Greenburgh residents who were turned down for aid after Tropical Storm Irene to reapply for disaster assistance after Hurricane Sandy.

Storms and disaster aid are treated on a case-by-case basis, FEMA media relations specialist Gary Weidner said at the Greenburgh Town Board meeting Wednesday night. Those who were turned down in past years or don't think they can qualify should still submit applications, Weidner said.

"The bottom line is, we can't help you if you don't register," he said. "Anybody with damages should register with FEMA."

FEMA and Small Business Administration assistance is also available at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains. It was a quick and easy process, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said after visiting the center.

Also at the Town Board meeting, several Greenburgh residents and community activists complained about the referendum approved by voters Nov. 6 for a lease with Game On 365.

The town did not adequately notify the public of the risks of building a sports complex on a site contaminated with carcinogens, some said. The wording of the referendum was biased, said Ed Krauss, former vice chair of the Greenburgh Democratic Committee.

"The referendum was voted on in a good deal of ignorance. The conclusion that the experts made about contamination was not disseminated quickly enough or at all," Krauss said. "It should have been advertised."

Woodard and Curran's environmental review of the site was limited, some residents said, and the board's environmental review of the site put children in danger.

Greenburgh resident Hal Samis also pointed out that according to the lease, the money paid by Game On for the environmental review will be reimbursed in rent credits.

But Councilman Francis Sheehan said that even Game On's initial payment of $250,000 will ease the burden on taxpayers without the help of a second party paying for cleanup.

"If we don't have Game On helping us, it's all up to the taxpayers," Sheehan said. "We need to have a partnership that will help."

The board encouraged residents to send in their concerns to the meeting scheduled for Nov. 27, when it will meet with local and state representative to address those concerns.

The public hearing to consider a local law amending a zoning ordinance to independent and assisted living facilities has been rescheduled to Dec. 6.

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