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Molinaro Gives Final State Of The Borough Address

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It was a look behind and a look ahead Thursday night as Staten Island borough president James Molinaro gave his final State of the Borough address. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

With the majestic St. George theater as a backdrop, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, for the last time, delivered a progress report for his borough.

"Tonight is the story of those 11 years," Molinaro said.

Six hundred people, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer, packed the theater, the first time the storied Staten Island location has played host to the annual address.

Molinaro spent much of his time touting successes in traffic and economic development.
He also reminded the crowd that the island's September 11th memorial was the city's first to be built.

He also said that next year, he will come through on a promise he made at a previous borough address.

"I have funded, and the city has approved, designs for a first responders memorial," he said. "We expect construction to begin this summer and will be completed by September 11th, in time for the 12th anniversary.

Molinaro announced plans to build the ferry terminal's first sit down restaurant, the River Dock Cafe, which signed a lease with the city's economic development agency earlier this week to occupy the the terminal's largest space.

Of course, a lot of the speech was dedicated to Hurricane Sandy. Some projects, like the redevelopment of the island's east shore, will be delayed. A monument will be built to honor the 23 islanders killed in the storm. And Molinaro is in the process of building a website to help residents figure out exactly how high to rebuild to meet the new standards.

"I am creating a website that will do the surveying and math to provide homeowners with a simple, plain English answer, free of charge," he said.

Molinaro is also compiling a needs proposal for Staten Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He said he will ask FEMA to help the island's hospitals better prepare for the possibility of a storm, and he will give more details about his Hurricane Sandy rebuilding website in the coming weeks.

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