“This grant will enable Seaside Park to develop a Strategic Recovery Planning Report that will serve as the local government’s primary guide for planning initiatives it takes moving forward to recover from Sandy and to reduce its vulnerability to future disasters,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state.
Seaside Park can use the grant to hire licensed professional planners to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and identify long-term strategies for resiliency and flood protection in the future. The Strategic Recovery Planning Report will focus on planning goals, strategies, and priorities that lead to actions that are most urgently needed for public safety and economic recovery.
“The need for a Strategic Recovery Planning Report is urgent due to severe impacts on the Borough’s housing infrastructure and local recovery,” Borough officials stated in their application. “This Strategic Recovery Planning Report will act as the first step in assessing these impacts in a systematic and detailed way. Consequently, the Borough will have the ability to better determine the types of projects and policies required for ongoing recovery efforts and to reduce vulnerabilities to future storms.”
The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million initially allocated to the program is currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.
The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report as described above. To date, the DCA has awarded 44 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report.
The DCA has so far approved $5 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including the award of Phase 2 grants to 15 local governments.
Applications for Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.
For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/pspag.html.