Brick Authorizes $18M for Sandy Recovery
Expenditures will be subject to FEMA reimbursement
Brick joined at least three other Ocean County municipalities Tuesday in authorizing funds to pay for cleanup and repairs related to Hurricane Sandy.
The township council unanimously approved a resolution at an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to authorize $18 million in notes to fund the cleanup and recovery effort.
Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the funding would be subject to reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Funds expended in the immediate aftermath of the storm – through Nov. 14 – will be reimbursed in full while long-term recovery and repairs will be reimbursed at a rate of 75 percent.
"I think this is a good place to start," said Pezarras, noting the township does not yet have a full list of infrastructure assessments.
Short term expenditures so far have included large-scale debris collection and overtime costs related to the storm. The long-term recovery from the storm may include everything from road and bulkhead repairs to dune restoration, Pezarras said.
The emergency funds are not subject to the state caps on spending, Pezarras said.
The council was originally set to consider a $2 million allocation for storm cleanup because that amount of cash was on hand, Pezarras explained, but a recent decision by the state to allow larger allocations outside of the cap led to the decision to authorize additional funding.
Brick has now joined a growing list of Ocean County municipalities that have authorized emergency notes to fund storm cleanup. Stafford Township has allocated $24 million, Lavallette has allocated $4.5 million and Little Egg Harbor Township is expected to authorized $12 million next week.
Responding to a question from school board member Larry Reid, who attended the council meeting, Pezarras said money spent on storm restoration costs would be specifically marked on future township bill resolutions.
"All of the expenses attributable to the storm will be marked on bill resolutions as 'Sandy Recovery' and charged to one account," said Pezarras.
Only overtime costs would not be funded from the account, but would be marked using a special code for submission to FEMA.
Pezarras said municipalities are hopeful FEMA reimbursements will come through by June of July 2013.