Town Expects Sandy Damage To Be Covered By Insurance, FEMA

Greenwich to file for reimbursement of damage to town parks, golf course, trees.


The town will be filing for reimbursement of damage to its parks, beaches, golf course and to its trees, all caused by Hurricane Sandy.

According Greenwich Comptroller Peter Mynarski, the town has $350 million in insurance coverage that it will use for payment to repair the extensive damage to its facilities at Greenwich Point, Byram Park, Island Beach, and to five vehicles. The town's risk manager, Ronald Lalli, is continuing to document the damage caused during the Oct. 29 hurricane that soaked the town with rains driven by winds reaching 80 mph.

The winds pummeled the coastline in the tri-state region including Greenwich where the town's shorefront parks and beaches. ; vegetation stripped from the shore and decades-old trees toppled. The ferry dock at Island Beach and the cement walkway leading to the dock were ripped from its pilings and footings. A cinder block wall of the bath house at Byram Park was washed out, along with much of the seawall.

"We have $350 million coverage with Lexington Insurance," Mynarski told the Board of Estimate and Taxation at its Nov. 19 meeting. "Damage to trees and the golf course has a $1 million limit—$500,000 is for the town (trees) and $500,000 for the golf course," Mynarski explained.

The overall policy, according to Mynarski, has a $200,000 deductible for which he said the town would apply for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Should the town's total damage estimates exceed the $350 million, "FEMA wants to reimburse us for any difference," Mynarski said.

Lally is documenting damage with photographs, and Parks and Recreation Director Joseph Siciliano has hired a consultant for $12,000 to assess the parks damage and review rebuilding plans, Mynarksi said.

During a Nov. 16 tour to view the damage at Island Beach, First Selectman Peter Tesei said he expected the damage there to exceed $1 million. It also remains unclear whether the island—which was transformed into a three-acre sandbox with 2 feet of sand covering the island—could be repaired in time for the 2013 beach season.

Between insurance and FEMA reimbursements, Mynarski said, "That should put us in good shape .... it's a lengthy process of reimbursement. (But) we pay for it up front."

BET Chairman Michael Mason asked what is not insurable. Mynarski replied, "There is a question on whether beach erosion is covered. It is not covered by insurance but it is by FEMA."


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