The Sandy-battered community of Belmar will be receiving additional help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is awarding a $1.747 million grant to help pay for marina buildings, bridges, decks and other associated facilities damaged by Superstorm Sandy, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) said today.
This latest Belmar grant follows previous federal funding totaling over $9 million for replacement of the boardwalk also destroyed as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Both grant awards are authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.
“As someone who has been going to Belmar since I was a young boy, I can easily envision how these improvements will change the Belmar waterfront which was nearly unrecognizable to me when I first saw it days after Superstorm Sandy hit,” said Smith. “Boardwalks and marina facilities are the critical for many Jersey Shore towns, and rebuilding them and restoring them is essential to recovery.”
The grant will help fund nine construction sites, four of which are completed and the others underway.
“The switch from a 75-25 percent federal-local cost share to a 90-10 split will obviously make a huge difference for the people of Belmar and the town’s budget,” Smith said, who earlier this year took a lead role in obtaining $60 billion in federal disaster relief funding for Superstorm Sandy victims. He later pressed FEMA to fund 90 percent of municipal clean-up and rebuilding costs, instead of the standard 75 percent.
At a June meeting with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in Smith’s Washington Office, Smith asked for 90-10 federal share for FEMA funding for Belmar and other towns. Fugate approved the 90 percent ratio several weeks later.
The higher cost share resulted in $290,000 additional aid in this grant.