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Rumson Forum to Hit on Sandy Issues

The informational meeting will bring FEMA, SBA and local officials together with residents rebuilding and in need of assistance

“Timely” is what Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl called a forum to be held this week that is designed to inform residents on Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and state Small Business Association (SBA) parameters for and updates on funding and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Forrestdale School cafeteria, will hone in on matters involving home elevation/rebuilding, on the borough and federal levels, building code facts and inquiries for residences and businesses and appropriate assistance avenues to pursue.

Residents will also be guided to the appropriate agencies and charities “that could help in financial assistance for residents not fully covered by FEMA and/or insurance settlements,” Ekdahl said.

Storm-related rebuilding feedback will also be provided by FEMA, SBA and local code enforcement officials. Dennis Peras, Rumson’s construction official, will be on hand to address strictly local issues and concerns.

“The Thursday meeting is very timely as the Borough has just completed the new (BHE) Base Height Elevation (ordinance scheduled for a public hearing at tonight’s council meeting) and the official FEMA BHE is due out on December 10,” Ekdahl said. “Residents have had an opportunity to interact with FEMA but now have questions as the rebuilding process begins … We hope to be able to address all residents’ concerns and questions with all stakeholders in the same room.”

To facilitate the forum process and address as many questions as possible, Rumson officials have asked that interested residents submit questions online.

The meeting announcement, including a link for question submission, reads as follows:

We are scheduling a meeting for residents with FEMA, SBA and Borough officials to provide them with an update on the current status of post-Sandy rebuilding. In addition to FEMA representatives, we will have Rumson's construction official and building inspector Dennis Peras available for questions related to Borough zoning and rebuilding.

There will also be an opportunity for residents seeking financial assistance in addition to FEMA and insurance claims to connect with the many charitable organizations that have been formed seeking to help all those in need. Resident Maryann Baret has volunteered to help with this effort.

We have already submitted some questions to FEMA and SBA in advance of this meeting; however, if you have specific questions that you would like to be addressed at this meeting, you can submit them online HERE. There will also be time at the meeting itself to ask questions.

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