Township Council Members Okay $6 Million In Emergency Appropriations For Storm Costs

Goal is to get South Seaside Park and Pelican Island residents home by Christmas, mayor says

The superstorm that slammed into the New Jersey coast Oct. 29 came with an unwanted price tag for Berkeley Township.

The Township Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a $6 million emergency appropriation to cover a variety of costs associated with Hurricane Sandy.

"The costs associated with Superstorm Sandy are increasing by the day," Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.

That includes damages to South Seaside Park beaches, bulkheads, roadways, and overtime for police, public works, the construction and engineering departments, he said.

"We will aggressively pursue reimbursement from FEMA," Amato said. "We feel $6 million is a good number in order to cover our costs."

Berkeley has been spending $200,000 every two weeks in overtime costs since the storm hit on Oct. 29, he said.

"We want to make sure we have enough cash on hand to pay our employees, who have been putting in a lot of hours," Amato said.

The township has set Dec. 31 as the cut-off date for picking up storm debris, since public works employees have already made several passes through hard-hit areas, he said.

"It's getting to a point now where the debris being picked up is from contractors," Amato said.

Residents should make sure contractors are not charging them for debris removal if they leave it at the curb, he said.

"Keep an eye on contractors," the mayor said. "December 31 will be the last day we are picking up debris. We will continue to pick up debris in South Seaside Park and Pelican Island, after repopulation, and then we should be complete."

So far, public works has picked up 4,100 tons of debris. Employees are using the public works yard as a transfer station. Workers separate metals and recyclables from the debris stream, so some of the tipping costs at the Ocean County Landfill in Manchester Township have been reduced, he said.

Home by Christmas?

Amato said he is in daily contact with the mayors of Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Lavallette to coordinate plans to get residents home as soon as possible.

Township and county roads in South Seaside Park and Pelican Island have been examined by the engineering department and "passed muster," Amato said.

"Power is just about restored to those areas," he said. "New Jersey Natural Gas is shutting down access to the barrier island on the 13th and 14th. They will repressurize the lines in Seaside Park and South Seaside Park. The water and sewer authorities are fine. The goal is to get everybody back by Christmas."


Robert Everett December 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Let all hope EVERYONE can be home by Christmas! Restore the shore - all of it.
karma December 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Anyone know what the process is to get your power back on or get a meter back?? Having a hard time and getting the run around. We are in Pelican Island (south side berkeley) would be alot easier to work if we had power!!
Chief Wahoo December 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
dont think about raising property taxes Amato.....you will be very sorry !
Hearme December 12, 2012 at 06:32 PM
karma I believe you need to contact JCPL and schedule an inspection and if it passes they install the meter. I think that is how they explained it in the brick patch a while back. I do not believe it is the same day. First the inspector then they schedule the install. I think they said you have to have the electrician say that it is all ggod before the inspector will even come out. I know it sounds like a pain in the behind but you have to have the electrical safe before they will turn it on. The last thing you want is a fire after all this.
foggyworld December 13, 2012 at 09:13 PM
December 31st doesn't give people in the Good Luck Point area enough time to pick up the substantial amount of debris in the center of the Point. And many people are waiting for information from FEMA, the EPA and all sorts of folks before they decide what to do next. Many of those people and those who are not living nearby won't even know about this date or anything else. So the trash will sit and then what? We haven't received much of any help out here. Only a handful of houses have had curb pickup but the vacant land will take months for us to clear away by ourselves.


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