Calls made for Hempstead Town agency audit over Sandy permit troubles

Calls are being made for an audit of the Town of Hempstead Department of Buildings to find out why some victims of Superstorm Sandy have had problem getting permits to rebuild their homes.

News 12 Staff

Jan 16, 2019, 11:41 PM

Updated 1,956 days ago

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Calls are being made for an audit of the Town of Hempstead Department of Buildings to find out why some victims of Superstorm Sandy have had problem getting permits to rebuild their homes.
Susan Goldstone is still not back in her Oceanside home more than six years after Sandy hit. And though many have fixed their homes, she says her house has been beleaguered with problems that include obtaining proper permits with the Buildings Department.
"We did everything by the book," she says. "And yet at every turn it was a block."
Steve McParland is also renovating his home post-Sandy and is waiting on permits. He says there needs to be more transparency when it comes to getting permits.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen says the Buildings Department is overwhelmed, receiving more than 1,400 complaints a year. It's second only to the Highway Department. She says some of those complaints come from homeowners who buy Sandy-renovated homes, and then later find out more repairs are needed to bring the building up to code. She wants to hire a consultant to audit the department and make it more efficient.
"By identifying areas in the department that can be streamlined, we can potentially save not only thousands of residents and small businesses much-needed time and needless headache each year, but also again free up time for our staff to address issues of other concerns," Gillen says.
The cost for a consultant to take a look at the Building Department is about $150,000, but Gillen admits that figure could rise.
The full Hempstead Town Board has to approve the money for the consultant's audit. A vote on that could happen in the next couple of weeks.


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