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Statewide Hearing on Federal Funds for Sandy Recovery Coming to Brookdale

Three hearings scheduled in the state to discuss $1.46 billion in additional federal funding.

By Anthony Bellano

The first of three statewide hearings the state’s use of plan to spend $1.46 billion in additional federal funds to help New Jersey residents and businesses recover from Superstorm Sandy takes place at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey next week.

The college’s Galloway campus will host the hearing in the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 4-7 p.m. The second hearing takes place Feb. 12 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The final hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13 at Brookdale Community College.

The state proposes spending $735 million on housing assistance programs, with $450 million of that going to low-to-moderate-income families.

Another $535 million would go to infrastructure programs, including providing reliable power to critical public facilities including hospitals, shelters and wastewater treatment plants; and to provide flood protection for high-risk areas.

The plan also includes:

* $90 million in funding for local governments impacted by Sandy to maintain essential services;

* $10 million to demolish unsafe flood-damaged structures;

* $5 million to help affected municipal zoning and code-enforcement offices respond to the influx of applications to rebuild; and

* $5 million for marketing tourism at the shore.

After the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $1.83 billion of Community Disaster Block Grant (CDBG) funds last April, the state said it will continue to make Sandy recovery a top priority. This is the second round of funding aimed at helping the nine counties most impacted by the storm, including Cape May, Ocean, Atlantic, Monmouth, Middlesex, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union.

CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are intended to support local rebuilding efforts after private insurance, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), or other available sources of funds have been applied, the state said.

The state will provide Spanish-language translators, sign language interpreters and other services at the hearing o make the event accessible to more members of the public. State officials and representatives of federal agencies are expected to attend and provide additional information.

A copy of the proposed plan is available on the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs website.

The plan was developed with input from residents, lected officials, long-term recovery groups and other stakeholders in New Jersey.

A 30-day period for public comment on the plan ends March 5. Comments submitted during that period will also be incorporated into the plan.

Written comments can be submitted by email to sandy.publiccomment@dca.state.nj.us or can be provided by mail to the following address:

Attn: Gabrielle Gallagher, NJ Department of Community Affairs, ‘

101 South Broad Street, Post Office Box 800, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0800.

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