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Brick Council to Consider Sandy Appropriation, Flood Zone Adoption Tonight

Up for a vote will be adoption of FEMA advisory maps

The Brick Township council will consider a number of measures related to Superstorm Sandy cleanup at its meeting Tuesday night, as well as an ordinance to adopt the Federal Emergency Management Agency's advisory base flood elevation (ABFE) maps, which have already been adopted by the state.

Though Gov. Chris Christie announced that the state as a whole would adopt the ABFE maps last month, individual municipalities must also adopt the maps, or they forfeit potential hazard mitigation grants which will aid residents in elevating their homes, Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said.

The ABFE maps have been the subject of controversy, as many residents have made the case that they are not appropriately zoned and, thus, subject to unnecessary expense to either raise their house or contend with unsubsidized flood insurance rates that could grow to .

Though Acropolis said last week that he feels the maps constitute a "money grab" by the federal government, the fact that grants to residents would be in jeopardy without adopting them – as well as the fact that the state already has – has forced the local vote.

The ABFE maps are advisory in nature; finalized maps, which may scale back certain aspects of elevation and foundational requirements, are expected to be released this summer.

The adoption of the ABFE maps comes with a companion ordinance that will amend township zoning laws to allow houses in flood zones to be raised to required elevations without residents having to obtain a variance – effectively, an exception – from height requirements under existing local land use laws.

In addition, the council will consider a $12.5 million bond ordinance as an emergency appropriation "as a result of the extraordinary damage to the streets, roads and other public property caused by Hurricane Sandy," a proposed ordinance reads.

The township has already authorized $7.5 million in Sandy cleanup spending, and previously estimated the total cleanup bill could reach $53 million.

Funds expended by the township as part of the storm recovery process are eligible for a 75 percent reimbursement by FEMA, though consideration is being given by federal officials to upping that figure to a 90 percent reimbursement.

Finally, the council will consider a resolution that will allow the township to go onto private property to clear or recover debris in cases where a safety hazard exists. The resolution is expected to be used to clear debris from the destroyed Camp Osborn neighborhood, where blocks of homes were leveled by fires during the storm.

Funds expended under that resolution are also eligible for reimbursement, Township Attorney Jean Cipriani has said.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the township municipal complex on Chambers Bridge Road.

can't say who February 05, 2013 at 12:02 PM
A good benefit of of house raising is that if the home owner chooses the higher height they will now have a "blow away basement" which will give them additional storage an possibly a two car garage. :
YouthPastor February 05, 2013 at 01:03 PM
So if the AFBE is adapted, does that forfeit the chance of any of the floodzone ratings being chasnged, especially the V's back to A's?
WMS826 February 05, 2013 at 01:06 PM
The shore will not be ready for the summer. This is evident now that the roadway is open and we can see what is going on down there. So let's stop the rush and do it right. This needed to happen at some point. Now it's here. So deal with it. Either raise your home when you rebuild it, or figure out a way to refinance it so you won't have to pay flood insurance. The town should to be gong onto private property to get debris but fining owners who fail to do so. If the town needs to collect the debris then we need to place a lien on the property and or take it through eminent domain. These are your million dollar properties, take care of it yourself.
WMS826 February 05, 2013 at 01:11 PM
When are the board of fire commissioner elections Dan..they are this month..please publish them. Please vote no on the budgets as well.
Betty Ann February 05, 2013 at 01:23 PM
@WMS826: I guess you haven't read tonight's agenda for the Council meeting. Check out the resolution that hopefully be passed.
WMS826 February 05, 2013 at 02:08 PM
There is a key word here Betty,...those who PARTICIPATE. What do we do with those who do not.
Astor February 05, 2013 at 02:21 PM
I live in Brick and had flood damage. We basicly put everything back the was it was right after the storm with our own money. Still waiting for the flood insur money as we still have a few more things to do. Now we find out we are in a V zone. So we are just going to wait and see what the flood insurance rate goes to in a few years and then figure out what to do , as we are just about 80 percent done.
John Zingis February 05, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Foodtown discussion tonight too in public forum. BTW, the adoption of the advised baseflood elevation will significantly impact any proposed use of the Foodtown site. Concerned residents should make every effort to attend tonight's meeting and get educated first hand. This is an excellent opportunity to voice your concerns over these issues. I understand there will be a public session where resident can speak.
John Zingis February 05, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I understand that the costs to construct the NEW MANDATORY basements to meet the NEW DCA and FEMA standards could approach $100,000.00 depending on site conditions. I would strongly suggest that any residents considering raising their homes contact an Architect who knows these regulations and start consulting with them to get real costs for your home.
Jcb February 05, 2013 at 02:54 PM
WMS826 - why would you vote no on the Fire budget. You pay very little. In fact you pay more for your Library tax then you do on your fire tax. After all the fire companies do to protect the citizens and all they did during the storm answering thousands of calls and helping thousands of people on need. Hope you don't need there service.
Daniel Nee (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 04:06 PM
No, it does not. Actually, judging by reports in recent days, it seems almost certain that aspects of the maps will change when the final versions (BFE) are released this summer. The maps themselves are issued by FEMA, a federal agency, not the state or the town. Gov. Christie decided to take action from the state level to adopt the federal maps, which has effectively forced the individual municipalities to adopt them as well. But that does not affect the overall federal process of issuing the final maps (BFE/FIRM). Controversy has surrounded the governor's decision because many coastal residents would have preferred Christie actively fight and oppose the maps rather than adopt them.
John February 05, 2013 at 04:17 PM
You are a fool not to pass the fire budget. Volunteer fire fighters are your hometown Heros every day help them so they can be there in your time of need or we can start sending u a bill for services like brick police E M S dose when they come to your door . Don't be a fool vote yes
Karly C February 05, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Where is the meeting and what time?
Daniel Nee (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Karly - Last line of the article has the time and link to directions to town hall.
Chief Wahoo February 05, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Busy night . Lots of golden opportunities for them to pick your pockets of whatever change Obama has left in them. Pezzaras must not have slept a wink last night , he was so excited. Bond = Debt = Slavery
shorecorruption February 06, 2013 at 12:17 AM
A real Big Water Park,a money maker!

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