By David Madden
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBS) – FEMA will be reimbursing New Jersey municipalities for many of its costs incurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy at a higher rate than originally promised. An extra $240-million is en route to the Garden State.
Uncle Sam will now foot the bill for 90-percent of the costs towns paid for emergency operations, infrastructure repair and debris cleanup. The feds had been on the hook for 75-percent. For towns like Seaside Heights, it’s a small change that works out to be a big deal.
“At the 25-percent cost share, I was figuring our cost was going to be about $4-million,” Seaside Heights mayor Bill Akers said. “This should bring it down to about $1.5-million, which is a tremendous saving to the taxpayers.”
The town will be able to finance that over 30 years, making it even more affordable. Akers admits times were tough during the winter, particularly during congressional debate over a federal aid package. But this helps make up for some of that pain.