Legislation supported by Smith to forgive federal Sandy disaster loans for NJ towns passes House, signed into law
Legislation supported by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to forgive federal Community Disaster Loans (CDL) for New Jersey towns devastated by Superstorm Sandy—including an estimated $8 million in loans for municipalities in Smith’s district in Monmouth and Ocean counties—passed the House of Representatives and was signed into law late last week as part of a stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown.
“The historic devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy required us to do everything to rebuild, including seeking much-needed federal assistance in grants and loans,” said Smith, who last year introduced legislation—the Equity for Disaster Victims Act of 2020 (HR 6454)—to require forgiveness of the federal CDLs that were granted to municipalities in the aftermath of the intense storm.
“The forgiveness of Community Disaster Loans provides critical relief for our towns and recognizes the ongoing burdened faced by our communities as we work to fully recover,” Smith said.
Mayors from Point Pleasant Beach and Manasquan, two of the towns in Smith’s district slated to receive CDL forgiveness, thanked Smith for his tireless efforts to secure the significant relief that will free up funds for critical municipal projects and other needed local improvements.
“Point Pleasant Beach is so grateful to have an attentive and hardworking member like Congressman Chris Smith representing us,” said Mayor Paul Kanitra. “He listened to our needs regarding CDL forgiveness, and he and his staff put in countless hours to make this a reality. We expect the effects of this to save the Borough close to $1 million dollars.
“This is a big deal,” said Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan. “This represents hundreds of thousands of dollars that we would’ve had to repay, that we can now use for other needed projects and improvements in Manasquan. There is no lack of projects we need funding.”
Smith, who working with local mayors, pushed and voted for the federal forgiveness provisions, said the relief is “an important win for our shore communities” and “would not have happened without the diligent hard work of our local officials.”
In addition to securing relief for New Jersey towns, the legislation also provides assistance to other eligible towns across the country with outstanding CDLs.
Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CDL program provides operational funding for local governments to continue basic operations after substantial revenue loss caused by a major disaster, such as Superstorm Sandy, that adversely affects their ability to provide essential municipal services.