Agency Will Reimburse Communities At A Rate Of 90 Percent

SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Federal officials have approved a plan to boost aid to towns in New Jersey that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse communities at a rate of 90 percent for certain expenses related to the October storm, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith said Wednesday.

Smith said he met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate earlier this month to talk about recovery efforts and ask for the increase.

“With a number of vital issues still facing homeowners, businesses and government agencies as we enter the first summer tourist season after Sandy, it is apparent we need a discernible path forward,” Smith said in a statement.

In Seaside Heights, Mayor Bill Akers said he can now rework his Sandy clean-up numbers.

“We were looking at about $4 million. It’s somewhere around $1.5 million now for our cost share, which is significant,” he told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.

In Belmar, Mayor Matt Doherty said the city is looking at some massive repairs underground to the sewers and water mains.

“We can be confident moving into the future months and years that we’ll be able to absorb the cost of those repairs that are going to be very, very expensive,” he said.

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long said it’s the smaller shore communities that will really benefit from the extra FEMA funding.

“The 90-10 cost share means that we’re able to contemplate more projects than we originally thought we’d be able to do this year,” she told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.  “So it’s really great news for Sea Bright.”

Smith said the plan will provide an immediate and additional $262 million for already obligated funding and will cover all additional local government approved funding.

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