The Piermont Board of Trustees held their first meeting since Superstorm Sandy Tuesday night at Village Hall and discussed storm aftermath as well as issues to prepare for future storms.
One of the village building inspectors, Charlie Schaub, estimated that more than 80 percent of residents have their power back as of Tuesday night. He said they’re going to put a lot of focus on getting businesses back up in the coming days.
In regards to businesses, Mayor Chris Sanders said the trustees are working on organizing a meeting to be held at Village Hall on Monday for local businesses from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. He said they’re working on getting representatives from FEMA, Small Business Administration, Hudson Valley Economic Development, Rockland County Industrial Development Agency and possibly Empire State Marine Trades Association to attend the meeting.
“We’re just generally hoping to have a bunch of those loan people set up here and bring people here and make that available for both Piermont businesses, as well as Nyack businesses,” Sanders said.
He added that he has been in contact with Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, who offered what Sanders called an interesting idea for how to help some Piermont businesses that saw a lot of damage from the storm.
“There are open storefronts in Nyack, so she’s offering that perhaps working with their chamber that if a Piermont business wants to open up a popup for a month or if a restaurant wants to open up for a period of time, that might be an interesting thing to explore,” Sanders said.
He added that that idea is just something they might look into and acknowledged there are a “whole host of issues” that could complicate matters.
Sanders said the village is also working to try and get a FEMA team to the village. He also said moving forward, they might need to go over zoning issues and think about the types of buildings they allow in the village. He added they might have to look into putting new buildings on stilts so flood water can pass under them.
The trustees also discussed rebuilding seawalls that were damaged in the storm. Sanders said they would like the Army Corps of Engineers to provide standards for how the seawalls should be built so they can pass those onto residents.
One issue with rebuilding seawalls that came up is that a lot of them are on private property and only on that property. The trustees said if a few residents who live next to each other can agree to build intertwining sea walls, that could help against possible flooding issues.
“It’s going to be a chore and an ordeal, but if they intertwine they’re going to be an awful lot stronger,” said Trustee John Gallucci Jr.
“It’s in their interests as well.”