July 11, 2013 - Christie Administration Helps Sandy-Impacted Communities Maintain Police, Fire and Beach Protection through CDBG Disaster Recovery Essential Services Grants
Christie Administration Helps Sandy-Impacted Communities Maintain Police, Fire and Beach Protection through CDBG Disaster Recovery Essential Services Grants
Sea Bright, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today toured the Borough of Sea Bright to highlight the Christie Administration’s efforts to assist hard-hit local communities in providing critical public services such as police, fire and lifeguard protection through the award of CDBG Disaster Recovery Essential Services Grants. A $1,075,000 Essential Services grant is helping the Borough prevent police layoffs, hire lifeguards and continue its financial support of volunteer firefighters.
“Superstorm Sandy had a devastating effect on homes, businesses and infrastructure in many communities in the state. It also impacted municipal budgets, making it difficult for them to meet the demands and costs of providing important public services such as public safety, public works and education,” said Commissioner Constable. “This is why we are pleased to have provided Sea Bright with more than $1 million in essential funding as they continue the rebuilding process. If not for this award, services that people often take for granted likely would have been significantly cut back or eliminated entirely.”
The Essential Services Grant allowed the Borough to avoid the layoff or furlough of police officers, continue its financial support of the volunteer fire companies, and maintain its residential garbage pick-up. The funding also enabled the Borough to hire lifeguards and other public safety personnel to keep its beaches protected and to meet its obligation to the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority for processing the Borough’s sanitary sewer system and maintaining the pump stations that direct the flow to the processing plant.
“We thank Governor Christie and his administration for awarding our borough an Essential Services Grant. While we have received insurance payments and funds from FEMA’s Public Assistance and Community Disaster Loan programs, it is just not enough to cover our enormous needs,” said Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long. “The financial and technical assistance we have received from the DCA has been crucial in the efforts to restore Sea Bright.”
During the walking tour with Mayor Long, Commissioner Constable visited Sea Bright’s Borough Hall, police department, fire department, lifeguard managers, and business district.
Last month, the Christie Administration announced the award of more than $44.5 million in Essential Services Grants to 11 Sandy-impacted local governmental entities in New Jersey that lost significant revenue and are experiencing budget distress. Grant recipients include Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Brigantine BOE, Keansburg BOE, Lavallette BOE, Little Egg Harbor BOE, Ocean County, Pinelands Regional BOE, Sea Bright Borough, Toms River, and Toms River BOE.
The Essential Services Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These grants are one of the programs included in the New Jersey Disaster Recovery Action Plan, which was approved by HUD on April 29, 2013. The Action Plan details how the State will utilize $1,829,520,000 in CDBG Disaster Recovery funding to help individuals, businesses and communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The Essential Services Grant program will utilize $60 million of the allocation.
The grants are designed to fill the gap between local governments’ Sandy-generated revenue losses and available FEMA Community Disaster Loans.
To receive grant assistance, local governments must meet a minimum of the following requirements:
- Applying for insurance payments and all available federal assistance programs, including FEMA Public Assistance, FEMA Community Disaster Loan Program, and appropriately utilizing all such assistance to the extent available;
- Demonstrating cost restraints to minimize the need for assistance;
- Agreeing to allocate Essential Service Grant funds, if provided, only to essential services such as public safety and public works in accordance with CDBG Disaster Recovery requirements;
- Ensuring updated emergency management plans; and
- Demonstrating a commitment to rebuilding public property; facilitating the reconstruction of ratables in a manner designed to minimize recurring damage; and pursuing efficiencies through shared services or consolidation as deemed appropriate by local officials to address changed populations or service models.
For more information on Essential Services Grants, log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/13/2013-15.pdf.