BY KRISTEN DALTON Correspondent
SEA BRIGHT — The borough of Sea Bright has been awarded a $241,000 flood protection grant by the Federal Emergency ManagementAgency as part of the New Jersey Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to help alleviate state, county and local flooding.
The money will be used to raise the residential property at 8 Center St., according to Borough Engineer Jacyln Flor. The first floor of the building will be structurally elevated a total of 6 feet in order to eliminate future flood damage.
According to Mary Goepfert, state Office of Emergency Management external affairs officer, a cost/benefit analysis must be completed in order for the municipality to decide if the borough will sponsor the homeowner’s claim for funding. In this case, the borough believed it was more beneficial to raise the property out of the flood zone than it would be for the homeowner to constantly repair damages.
In order to qualify as a severe repetitive loss, the property must have a history of being flooded out with two losses of $20,000 or more in a 10-year period, but not within 10 consecutive days of each other, said T&M Grants Manager Lorie Thompson. Ninety percent of construction costs are covered by FEMA while the homeowner is responsible for 10 percent and the application fees. Typical notification of funding comes within nine months to a year after the application is processed. Construction is usually completed one to two years thereafter.
T&M Associates is the engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm in charge of this elevation project, which is currently in the design stage.
“Increasing the number of disaster-resistant communities in New Jersey is one of our highest priorities,” State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes, director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, said in a press release. “We are working with New Jersey communities statewide to keep residents out of harm’s way through voluntary property acquisitions, returning land use to open space or recreational areas, retrofitting or elevating homes, and structural controls.”
The state received a total of $48.3 million for hazard mitigation; the only phase of disaster management process specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated losses, according to the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection.
Sea Bright is one of four Monmouth County towns awarded flood protection grants, and the only one listed as a Severe Repetitive Loss Program, of which New Jersey ranks third in the nation, said Geopfert. The owner of another residential property, 25 Center St., is currently applying for this program as well.
Ocean Township and Neptune City have been approved for the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, receiving $4,461,499 for a 32-structure acquisition and $573,569 for a valve/bulkhead project, respectively. Neptune Township has been awarded $677,922 for an outfall valve and bulkhead project. 7/21/2011 by Kristen Dalton The Hub
Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under the pretense of public safety.Daniel Webster