By Philip Newman
December 22, 2013
Three New York lawmakers have announced the availability of nearly $2 million in federal money to repair damage inflicted on a Howard Beach school by Hurricane Sandy.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) and state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) said $1,861,901 will go to the city School Construction Authority for major Sandy-related repairs on PS 207. The money will reimburse 90 percent of the cost of repairs undertaken in the school.
“This infusion of federal money is helping PS 207 Rockwood Park put the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy in the rear-view minor and enabling the school to get back to educating New York City’s children without crushing back bills,” Schumer. “PS 207 was hit very hard by the hurricane and this grant goes a long way towards helping the school and the city defray the costs of repairs.”
PS 207 is located at 159-15 88th Street in the Rockwood Park section of Howard Beach.
Gillibrand pointed out that the influx of federal funds will enable the young students to return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Most of the damage to PS 207 was in the basement, where 12 feet of water rushed in and flooded the entire cellar.
A fuel oil tank rolled over and spilled around 4,000 gallons of No. 6 heating oil throughout the basement. Flood waters also damaged two boilers, electric light panels, lights, duct work and the fire alarm system.
Schumer and Goldfeder announced in September that $5,277,661 in federal money was available for the School Construction Authority. That money went to repairs at various public schools in Queens, including the PS 256 annex in Rockaway Park.
Religious and community leaders were planning to gather this week to take part in an interfaith prayer vigil in Hamilton Beach for struggling families who are still waiting for Hurricane Sandy recovery at a time of increasing winter cold.
“The communities of Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach and families in my parish are waiting for recovery to reach our doors,” said Monsignor Al Lo Pinter, of St. Helen’s Church in Howard Beach. “We are still waiting for necessities like heat and hot water and we are also worried about the future.”
The event at West Hamilton Beach Firehouse, at 102-33 Davenport Court in Howard Beach, was organized by Faith in New York in association with Alliance for a Just Rebuilding.
A later meeting was set for the home of Jean Ferrera-Rodriguez, at 102-01 164th Road in Hamilton Beach.
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