NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A day after meeting with Congressional leaders in Washington to appeal for $10 billion in federal storm relief, Mayor Bloomberg sounded optimistic.
“I got nothing but good vibes, understanding there will be differences of opinion on how much money they can appropriate,” Bloomberg told reporters.
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In all, Bloomberg said the city suffered $19 billion in public and private losses.
The mayor was asked whether the city would ask for more than it might expect to get in an effort to hedge its bets.
“We don’t play games. This is number one, we’re Americans, this is the taxpayer’s money and we’re taxpayers and citizens as well,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor called any action to inflate the figures by any locality an outrage.
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Bloomberg also stressed that some of the federal aid would be used to recover money already spent.
“We think these are legitimate things, we think they’re things that the federal government has a policy of paying for, based on the law and based on past performance and we stand ready to sit down with any member of White House staff or of either branches of either house or either party to explain exactly what these numbers are,” the mayor said. “We can justify, based on what we’ve done so far, what we’re going to do. For example, overtime; police, fire, sanitation, other city services. A lot of that, we’ve already booked it.”
Bloomberg headed to D.C. Wednesday to meet with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to lobby for additional disaster funds.
In a letter from the mayor’s office addressed to New York’s Congressional Delegation, Bloomberg asked for help in “securing supplemental and expedited funding” for the five boroughs.
The letter made the plea for nearly $10 billion in additional federal aid for Sandy-related damage.
“After subtracting private insurance of $3.8 billion and FEMA reimbursement of $5.4 billion, the netcost to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy will be approximately $9.8 billion,” the letter read.
Bloomberg said the $19 billion damage estimate includes $4.5 billion to cover losses to and costs incurred by city agencies.
It also includes $5.7 billion to cover lost gross product for New York City resulting from businesses losing inventory or shops made inoperable because of power loss.
In his letter, the mayor also made a point to remind the New York Congressional Delegation that Congress had previously authorized $120 billion in aid following Hurricane Katrina.
“The City will struggle to recover in the long-term unless expedited federal funding is supplied,” Bloomberg wrote.