In its effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, the Christie Administration today announced the award of more than $1.8 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to 31 local governments affected by the storm. The first round of grants is in response to applications from municipalities and counties that lost significant tax revenue due to Sandy and demonstrated how planning assistance will lead to greater community resilience. The grants will help these local governments develop recovery plans that strategically address the issues that now confront them.
"Each of the local governments receiving a grant is facing significant challenges that were either created or exacerbated by Sandy, and many of them lost residential and commercial properties to the storm," said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner (DCA) Richard E. Constable, III, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state. "The grants will help these towns and counties identify ways to better protect themselves from future storms and encourage sustainable economic growth."
The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million program is available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.
Local governments can use the grants to hire licensed professional planners to help them develop long-term strategic recovery plans. In addition, grant money can be specifically put towards community development and neighborhood plans, development of design standards specific to flood hazard areas, and development of codes, ordinances, standards and regulations necessary to implementing plans for resiliency and mitigation.
All the local governments receiving grant assistance have either completed a Strategic Recovery Planning Report or will use the grant funding to help them create the report. This planning report will serve as each local government's primary guide for actions they take moving forward to recover from Sandy and to reduce their vulnerability to future disasters.
Applications for Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA's Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.
Today's grant recipients are listed below. The grant amounts represent what was requested and substantiated by the local governments.