Ocean Township in Monmouth County has been awarded a $1.59 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help pay for clean-up costs from Superstorm Sandy.
"I was in Ocean Township after the storm and saw massive downed trees, impassable roads and countless damaged homes and buildings similar to the devastation I saw across Ocean and Monmouth counties," Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) said. "This funding is so important. No town like Ocean can absorb these costs in its municipal budget and tax base without help from the federal government."
This award will provide $1,593,844 in Federal funding to pay for massive loading, hauling, and disposal of debris as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The award represents 90 percent of the total cost of $1,770,938 which Ocean Township incurred from the clean up.
The clean-up was so extensive Ocean Township had to hire nine contractors to assist municipal workers with the massive debris removal. The debris removed totaled 133,390 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 806 hazardous limbs and nearly three dozen hazardous leaning trees. After the debris was reduced in volume by chipping, the material was disposed of at one of three permitted disposal sites.
"We are very appreciative of FEMA and Congressman Smith for helping us recover from the devastation that we had from Hurricane Sandy. We, like every other municipality, had incurred a significant expense and it's great that FEMA takes some of the burden off of the municipality and taxpayer," said Ocean Township Mayor Bill Larkin.
At a meeting in his Washington Office over the summer, Smith personally appealed to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to approve a 90 percent federal share for FEMA funding going to Jersey towns to pay for cleanup costs--instead of the initially planned 75 percent. Fugate approved the 90 percent ratio several weeks later.
"Fortunately, this FEMA award for Ocean Township represents 90 percent of the cost of this clean-up, while the town's cost share is only 10 percent," Smith said. "Had FEMA not raised the cost-share rate from 75 to 90 percent, the added cost to Ocean Township would have been an additional $265,600. This helps saves the township over a quarter of a million dollars."