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January 16, 2013

DiNapoli: $265 Million In Hurricane Relief Contracts and Payments Expedited in 2012

Spending Posted Online

The State Comptroller’s office processed nearly $265 million in contracts and spending in November and December 2012 related to Hurricane Sandy recovery and has posted the details online so the public can access it in real time, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reported today.

“People are still hurting and need help. My office has processed contracts and payments for road repairs, roof replacements and park restorations across the flood zone,” DiNapoli said. “It’s important that funds get out quickly and for the public to see where their taxpayer dollars are going.”

Like Open Book New York, a searchable database of agency spending and state contracts, the Comptroller’s online data lets users view spending by date, amount, agency and vendor.

The database contains a range of state outlays from $98 million in expedited income tax refunds for flood zone residents to $5 million for the restoration of Fire Island. Other expenditures include a $33 million road repair contract with Picone Bove Tully and more than $30 million in debris removal contracts with DRC Emergency Services. The bulk of contracts processed are from the state Office of General Services and the Department of Transportation.

DiNapoli noted that $265 million is a small portion of the total recovery cost. At present, executive agencies track spending on worksheets using Federal Emergency Management Agency classifications such as debris removal, roads and bridges, and buildings and equipment. Overall spending is expected to be in the billions of dollars and will eventually be logged into the Statewide Financial System, New York’s financial management system overseen by the Comptroller’s office and the state Division of the Budget.

In addition to expediting the contract and payment process since the storm, DiNapoli has introduced a package of relief measures to assist homeowners and local governments by allowing the adjustment of property assessments on damaged properties, authorizing the issuance of “storm bonds” for short-term financing to pay for storm costs and easing restrictions on the use of reserve funds by local governments and school districts to pay for Sandy-related expenses.

To survey contract and other payments related to Hurricane Sandy visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/hurricane/contracts.htm

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