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PR- 120-13
April 2, 2013


Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The first three of nine bills before me today relate to our Administration’s continued response to Hurricane Sandy and our efforts to protect New Yorkers and get businesses affected by Sandy back on their feet.

“Introductory Number 1017 is sponsored in conjunction with our Administration by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Reyna, Chin, Recchia, Lappin, Arroyo, Mealy, Koo, Eugene, Vallone, Barron, Cabrera, Comrie, Greenfield, James, King, Koslowitz, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Mendez, Nelson, Palma, Richards, Rose, Vacca, Vann, Halloran and Ulrich.

“We are all acutely aware of the extensive damage left after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City on October 29, 2012.  The storm caused heavy flooding, power outages, and widespread damage to vast areas of the City.  Thousands of businesses were impacted, causing significant disruption to individuals, families, neighborhoods and the City’s economy.  Restoring these businesses and the jobs they create is a critical part of the City’s overall recovery from Sandy.

“Introductory Number 1017 will allow businesses that were operating on or prior to Hurricane Sandy in any of the severely impacted areas to qualify to have certain fees waived through the end of the year related to the repair and reconstruction of their businesses.  Any business that has already paid these fees will be eligible for a refund.

“Introductory Number 1007-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Ignizio, Oddo, Comrie, James, Koo, Williams, Wills, Lappin, Arroyo, Rose, Halloran, Ulrich and Lander establishes regulations for the elevation of homes.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy one method for protecting a home and complying with insurance requirements is to elevate the home to a desired flood elevation and it is incumbent upon the City to ensure that this important work gets done properly.

“Introductory Number 1007-A requires construction plans to clearly state whether a project will involve home elevation work, contractors to give forty-eight hours notice to the Buildings Department before elevating a home, home elevation work to be done under the supervision of an approved special inspector, and requires the Consumer Affairs Department to provide education to the public regarding the types of work home improvement contractors can do and the licenses and permits needed by such contractors to do different kinds of work. 

“Introductory Number 1016, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Oddo, Vallone, Recchia, Mendez, Ignizio, Ulrich, Rose, Arroyo, Chin, Comrie, Gentile, Greenfield, King, Nelson, Palma and Halloran increases penalties for crimes committed during a local state of emergency.

“The City’s experience during Hurricane Sandy brought to light the need to address the fear that many home and business owners feel when directed to evacuate their premises – the fear that criminals will exploit the situation.  While we saw a reduction in major crimes committed during the week beginning October 29th compared to the prior year, there were some local spikes in burglaries committed in areas directly affected by the storm.  The more widespread and significant danger came from the fear of burglary, leading people to fail to evacuate when they should have.

“Introductory Number 1016 addresses this fear by enacting new civil and criminal penalties specifically targeting those who commit despicable acts when their victims are at their most vulnerable.  The crimes articulated in the bill are those which would most likely be associated with a state of emergency, and the two-tier system of penalties reserves the most serious punishment for those who commit these acts in a mandatory evacuation area during a mandatory evacuation period.

“I would like to thank Counselor to the Mayor Michael Best, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and New Business Acceleration Team Executive Director Robinson Hernandez along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs for their work on these bills.  I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation.”


Marc LaVorgna/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


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