In response to Sag Harbor’s disastrous December 16 fire on Main Street, Congressman Lee Zeldin has issued a statement in support of granting federal aid for the village through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Recovery Program.
In order for this aid to be granted, the Congressman says business owners must report their damages to the state as soon as possible. He also requests that Governor Andrew Cuomo make a formal request for a disaster declaration posthaste.
The effort to secure a disaster declaration through the SBA has been led in New York State by State Senator Kenneth LaValle and State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, but also requires this request from the Governor.
Zeldin said, “Sag Harbor Village was recently ravaged by a fire that severely impacted the local main street economy. Fortunately, thanks to the swift action of the community’s first responders, no lives were lost during the tragic fire. However, the economic damage to the community was devastating. In this small community of just over 2,000 people, this sort of economic disruption has severe negative impacts. Senator Lavalle and Assemblyman Thiele recently sent a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting that he formally request an agency level special disaster declaration through SBA. It is so important that the afflicted business owners provide information on the damages sustained to the state as soon as possible as part of this process. I also encourage Governor Cuomo to act expeditiously in making this formal request for a disaster declaration. Additionally, I have been in direct contact with SBA to ensure that this federal agency makes this request a priority once it is made by the Governor. Sag Harbor Village is a vibrant historical community that represents so much of what makes Long Island a great place to live, work and visit. A disaster declaration would provide residents and business owners with access to the necessary resources to ensure a speedy and full recovery from last month’s fire.”
The next step in the recovery process, according to Zeldin’s statement, is for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, working with local officials and businesses, to ascertain the extent of the economic injury. After five or more businesses demonstrate sufficient uninsured losses, the next step is for the state, with a recommendation from the Governor, to request that the SBA declare this fire a disaster.
The 12-alarm fire last month impacted almost 50 Sag Harbor businesses, and several will not recover for some time. Other businesses are now also suffering from the ongoing limitations imposed by the demolition, cleanup and recovery efforts.