Rep. Grimm Calls for Sandy Funds to Rebuild Nichols Marina Boat Slips

May 15, 2013 Issues: Superstorm Sandy

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-SI/Brooklyn) sent the attached letter to Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Linda Canzanelli asking that Sandy funds be used to help Nichols Marina rebuild 250 slips, something it may not have the funds to do if it is forced to rely on insurance money alone.

“When Nichols Marina reopens, there should be a slip for every boater who returns,” said Grimm. “I fought hard in Congress to secure Sandy relief funds, and want every dollar to be maximized to meet the greatest need.  In this case, it is only fitting that some of the Sandy relief funds designated for Gateway be used to fill in funding gaps, so that all 250 slips may be built. Nichols Marina is an integral part of the Great Kills neighborhood and essential to Staten Island’s boating community, which is why I have made rebuilding it and preserving it a top priority.”

Under the temporary agreement between NPS and the marina operator, Marinas of the Future, Inc., the marina may rebuild to a maximum of 250 slips. If the Marina is forced only to use the approximate $1.2 million in insurance money to rebuild, it may fall short of the maximum number of slips. Last week, the Department of the Interior announced over $150 million in Sandy-related emergency assistance for Gateway National Recreation Area, and Rep. Grimm is requesting that a portion of the funds be used to make up the cost difference in order to ensure that all 250 boat slips are rebuilt. 

The text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Linda Canzanelli
Superintendent
Gateway National Recreation Area
210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305

Dear Ms. Canzanelli:

First, I would like to thank you and your staff for your efforts to rebuild the many areas of Gateway which were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. I know that Gateway personnel, some of whom were personally affected by Sandy themselves, have worked tirelessly to restore the national treasure that is Gateway, and I truly appreciate it.

I do, however, want to highlight an issue of concern which I believe requires immediate clarification. As you are certainly aware, the U.S. Department of Interior announced last week the release of over $150 Million in Sandy-related emergency assistance for the Gateway National Recreation Area. Included in this funding package was $9.2 million specifically dedicated to repairing storm damage at Great Kills Marina Slips, Moorings, and Docks.  What needs clarification at the moment is the extent to which these funds will be used to rebuild the slips that will be made available to boaters later this year.

It is my understanding that rebuilding the marina slips using only the concessionaire’s insurance money of approximately $1.2M may limit the number of boaters that can be accommodated when the marina re-opens later this year, as it could cover significantly fewer than the 250 slips that are permitted under the temporary concession agreement. If this turns out to be the case, I urge you to use Sandy emergency funding for the marina, in order to make up the cost difference. I remain available to work with the National Parks Service to ensure that boaters who used the marina prior to Sandy will have a slip available to them in the restored marina.

Your prompt attention to this issue is most appreciated.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Grimm
Member of Congress