Gov. Chris Christie’s administration announced on Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved nearly $10 million in federal funding for several public assistance projects for post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup costs in Belmar and Marlboro, as well as for personnel and equipment costs incurred by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
In Belmar, a $5.4 million public assistance project, with $4 million paid for by FEMA, has been approved to reimburse the borough for costs associated with debris removal.
A third public assistance project was also approved for the New Jersey OEM for personnel and equipment costs associated with the administration of the Public Assistance Program. FEMA will cover the entire $3.5 million project cost.
The state-administered Public Assistance Program is a cost-share plan that reimburses local and county governments and certain nonprofit organizations for eligible disaster-related costs including emergency protective measures, debris removal and public infrastructure repair or replacement costs.
"The removal of debris from our communities is one of the ways our residents psychologically recover and return to a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives after the storm," said Governor Christie in a written statement. "I thank FEMA for continuing to work with New Jersey’s communities and municipalities to quickly and safely undertake these cleanup efforts, not just in our streets, parks, and downtowns, but also in the front and back yards of our homes. Getting this work done and securing reimbursement for our local governments continues to demonstrate steady progress for our residents as we continue the work of rebuilding our state."
“I’m pleased that we’re being reimbursed for the exorbitant costs that we’ve had to deal with from Sandy,” said Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik. “The federal and state governments recognize that that towns like ours shouldn’t bear the total costs of such a catastrophic event. The residents of New Jersey have paid to help other states around the country recover from disasters, and it’s good to know that now we’re getting help in our time of need.”
"We were always aggressive about our cleanup efforts, confident that the federal and state governments would back us up. Now we feel that our confidence has been rewarded," said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. "Through this partnership with the federal and state governments, Belmar and the rest of the Jersey Shore will be able to recover more quickly and effectively from Hurricane Sandy."