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LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – As Long Beach struggles to find millions of dollars to rebuild their infrastructure and get people back in their homes, Sen. Charles Schumer is hoping to get federal money to build a new boardwalk that would withstand future storms.
Most of the cost of the 2.2-mile boardwalk would be covered by “hazard mitigation” funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, if the structure is rebuilt with concrete or tropical wood, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported Monday.
“The boardwalk is the heart of our city,” Long Beach City Council president Scott Mandel told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.
“We want to build it to be storm-resistant. We want to rebuild it so that it will be stronger and tougher than ever,” Schumer said. “It’s going to be a symbol of Long Island’s, New York’s and Long Beach’s revitalization when it gets built again.”
One longtime resident said that while the boardwalk is important, it shouldn’t be a priority.
“Let them come up with money for the hospital,” he said. “Priorities are priorities. Let one of the city’s official’s relatives need a hospital and it’s just a minute too far to go to Oceanside. We’ll see what happens then.”
However, others argue that without the boardwalk, Long Beach and nearby Island Park will never get back to normal.
“Thousands of people use the boardwalk every day,” one man said.
“The boardwalk is very important because of tourism and they need the money,” one woman said. “People when they come here, they’re not going to spend any money if there’s no boardwalk.”
“When this boardwalk is built bigger, better, newer, stronger than ever, it’s going to say ‘we are back,’” Schumer said.
Superstorm Sandy caused so much damage to the boardwalk, officials had no choice but to dismantle it entirely.
FEMA is considering the request for additional funds and could have an answer this week, Schumer said.
Long Beach officials expect to have a new and stronger boardwalk by summer. It is expected to cost $25 million.
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