Joe Baker, president of the South Merrick Community Civic Association, was recently selected to co-chair the Bellmore-Merrick Community Reconstruction Zone (CRZ).
Baker and Nassau County Health Commissioner Larry Edelstein will form a committee of nine to 15 people that will assist them in determining how federal grants that may be given to the Bellmore-Merrick community will prevent damage of future storms.
It was determined that the Bellmore-Merrick community is eligible for grants totaling more than $12 million after Hurricane Sandy.
Grant amounts are based on FEMA assessed damage levels and applications for new infrastructure. Grants will be awarded once the community's plan is complete and submitted to the state for approval.
CRZ was created after Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the "New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program," an initiative designed by the state with a mission to empower communities hit hard by storms.
The program creates and implements locally created and federally funded strategies for rebuilding and strengthening communities against future extreme weather.
New York Rising will assist 102 severely damaged communities throughout New York State to develop rebuilding plans that will be driven by the needs of each community and developed by regional planning committees of community leaders, experts, and officials.
Baker said that he is looking forward to the opportunity that was presented to him.
"I am excited to take on this responsibility and look forward to working closely with Dr. Edelstein with accomplishing an opportunity to make our communities safer and stronger than ever before," he said.