In the first nine
months since Superstorm Sandy hit area towns, millions have been doled
out to offset costs of cleanup and removal in some of the hardest hit
areas, but area officials say the funds are not getting here fast
The state Office of Emergency Management, which has been
distributing the federal money to municipalities throughout the state,
recently reported figures that cover payments to municipalities, other
entities and some eligible private companies statewide through July 30.
The figures are actual dollars received by municipalities to cover emergency costs, not requests made or applications still in the pipeline, OEM officials said Tuesday.
But while the aid money is welcome, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what towns have spent cleaning up from the October storm, officials said. For example, Point Beach has received about $2.6 million so far. Brick Township has received about $718,000 and Point Boro has received about $102,000.
spent roughly $9 million so far," said Point Pleasant Beach Mayor
Vincent Barrella. He said that the town is hoping to be reimbursed by FEMA up to the 90% that has been discussed.
The bulk of many municipalities' disbursements have been to offset costs of debris removal, the initial costs of which were initially picked up by Ocean County in some towns, including Brick.
But while many cash-strapped counties and municipalities along the Shore had to deal with the emergency immediately, the reimbursement process has been less quick, officials said.
Brick Councilman Domenick Brando told
Patch: "I'm confident they'll reimburse us, but I'd like to see them
move that money along a little quicker ... I don't know what the problem
is. The funds are allocated, we've given them all the paperwork, they
should be releasing those funds."
Ocean County government acts as the centralized administrator for doling out grants, so the county's municipalities may appear to have smaller amounts than other regions. Here is the list of Ocean County towns and what they received as of July 30:
Toms River $4,345,788.95
Point Beach $2,624,373.50
Beach Haven $2,167,353.20
Little Rgg Harbor $2,027,072.22
Seaside Heights $1,000,355.17
Long Beach Township $859,281.06
Bay Head $513,114.51
Harvey Cedars $240,893.00
Ocean Gate $215,864.83
Surf City $186,619.81
Point Boro $101,898.11
Ship Bottom $73,810.10
Island Heights $72,480.44
Barnegat Light $66,382.60
South Toms River $52,481.87
Seaside Park $43,713.75
Pine Beach $8,382.50