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Star Ledger/NJ.com articleWall Township reimbursed $1.6 million for Hurricane Sandy cleanup

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Wall Township, NJ, Oct 24, 2013 | comments
Though it does not directly border the Atlantic Ocean, this Monmouth County Township has an expensive Hurricane Sandy cleanup.

Wall Township received approval for a $1.6 million FEMA grant award to help pay for the extensive cleanup resulting from Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) said in a Monday press release.

“Nearly a year ago Wall was among the towns hit hard by Sandy,” Smith said. “The human costs in terms of disruption of homelife, community and commerce was near immeasurable, and for many people, catastrophic. But local workers rolled up their sleeves and went to work to reopen their town and get back on track to normalcy. Meanwhile, municipal governments incurred never-before-seen expenses added to their town budgets. This funding will help offset the financial impact on the township’s budget and local taxes.”

Wall’s borders extend along both the Shark River Inlet to the north and the Manasquan Inlet to the south, leaving sections of the township vulnerable to the storm surge.

Wall Mayor Todd Luttman said the FEMA funds will reimburse 90 percent of the town’s cleanup expenses.

“We are delighted that FEMA is reimbursing Wall Township over $1.6 million for damages we incurred during Sandy, and we really appreciate all the help that Congressman Smith’s office has given us in getting resolution on this,” Luttman said. “This award reimburses the Township for work that was done on behalf of Wall residents by our Township employees.

At a meeting in his Washington Office over the summer, Smith personally appealed to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to approve a 90 percent federal share for FEMA funding going to Jersey towns to pay for cleanup costs—instead of the initially planned 75 percent. Fugate approved the 90 percent ratio several weeks later.

“Fortunately, Wall is expected to receive federal government assistance covering 90 percent of the cost of this clean-up, with the town’s cost share set at 10 percent,” Smith said. “The increase in the federal cost-share will save the township an additional estimated $280,000.”

The award pays for the loading, hauling, and disposal of almost 80,000 cubic yards of debris. The Township utilized its own Department of Public Works workforce and equipment to remove 31,251 cubic yards of debris. The total cost of removal was $1,871,659.

This article ran on Oct. 23, 2013:
http://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2013/10/wall_township_reimbursed_16_million_for_hurricane_sandy_cleanup.html

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