New York City is poised to spend half a billion dollars to repair public schools and hospitals damaged by the storm known as Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller John Liu appeared at the mayor's side, a sign the spending package will be approved quickly, in spite of its considerable size. The Council is expected to approve the appropriation Tuesday.
Approximately $200 million will be spent on schools, and $300 million on hospitals.
“If you’re a child who lost your home, what’s your second home when you’re a child? Your school,” Quinn said. "If we can spend and reallocate taxpayer money quickly to get the schools re-opened we'll give children an additional sense of stability, a little normalcy back in their lives."
Mayor Bloomberg chose P.S. 207 Rockwood Park in Howard Beach, Queens, as a backdrop for the announcement. The school needs new oil tanks and electric wiring, and students have been moved offsite. 22 other school buildings were damaged in the storm.
Officials said the city will try to recoup some its expenditures with reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.