New York Businesses Get Rebuilding Fee Break After Sandy

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -

New York City businesses rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy are set to get a break on fees for items ranging from plumbing permits to fire-alarm testing fees and boiler registrations.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday the city would waive various rebuilding fees for businesses that were operating on or before the Oct. 29 storm. They have to be in certain evacuation or business zones or in damaged buildings.

“We need our businesses to recover from Hurricane Sandy as quickly as possible, and we’ll make sure government doesn’t stand in their way,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Reinvesting in our hardest-hit areas is key to rebuilding our economy and creating jobs in the neighborhoods that need them most.”

Among the fees being waived:

Department of Buildings: Application, permit and inspection fees for plumbing, scaffolds, sidewalk sheds, fences, signs, boilers, demolition, elevators, construction, limited alteration applications and after-hours variances.

Fire Department: Fees for inspection and testing of liquid motor fuel dispensing system installations; acceptance testing of fire protection systems, including fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing systems and fire pumps; review of design and installation documents for liquid motor fuel dispensing systems and fire protection systems.

Department of Environmental Protection: Fees related to asbestos review tracking system, boiler registration, certificates of operation, demolition registration, registration to operate a portable generator, gasoline dispensing sites, spray-painting requirements.

Department of Small Business Services: Fees related to waterfront construction work, equipment use permits, mooring permits, fill work permits and certificates of completion.

Transportation Department: Street opening permits, building operations and construction activity permits, debris container, sidewalk construction, vault, and canopy permits.

Department of Consumer Affairs: Fees for special sales license, tow-truck replacement inspection, pedicab inspection fees.

Landmarks Preservation Commission: Fees related to certificates of appropriateness and certificates of no effect.

Meanwhile, city public advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio released a report showing the city’s health and consumer affairs departments have sharply increased inspections and fines of businesses in the last three years, particularly outside Manhattan.

He says those fines have risen by $50 million in total.

Bloomberg’s office had no immediate response.