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Thursday, August 28, 2014

South Toms River Gets Post-Sandy Grant Money

In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of a $30,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to South Toms River Borough in Ocean County to develop long-range plans to become resilient in the event of future severe weather events.

“Like many hard hit communities that lost residential and commercial properties to the storm, South Toms River is facing significant challenges that were either created or exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state. “This grant will help the Borough identify ways to better protect itself from future storms and find solutions to the very specific issues it is facing.”

South Toms River 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 should focus on planning goals, strategies, and priorities that lead to actions that are most urgently needed for public safety and economic recovery.

In its application, Borough officials said South Toms River suffered losses to waterfront homes and business, including several marinas along Atlantic City Boulevard due to the October 2012 storm. They stated that the Borough’s Master Plan never anticipated the severity of a recovery from a storm like Sandy, which is why the town’s land uses and zoning districts need to be revisited to incorporate hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

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.

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