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FEMA Sandy Money Slow To Get To Toms River, Officials Say

Congress approved a $51 billion aid package in January, but Shore Area towns have seen a fraction of their costs covered in nine months since Hurricane Sandy.

By Tom Davis and Keith Brown

In the first nine months since Hurricane Sandy hit Shore Area towns, about $4.3 million in federal emergency money has been doled out to offset costs of cleanup and removal in some of the hardest hit areas of Toms River, state figures show.

The state Office of Emergency Management, which has been distributing the federal money to municipalities throughout the state, reports that Toms River -including Ortley Beach and other areas - received a total of $4,345,788.95 from the federal government, mainly going toward reimbursement for debris removal and safety measures, according to an OEM accounting of public assistance payments.

The OEM covers payments to municipalities, other public entities and some eligible private companies statewide. The Toms River figures, and those from other communities, were actual dollars received by July 30 to cover emergency costs, not requests made or applications still in the pipeline, OEM officials said Tuesday.

But while the aid money is welcome, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what towns have spent cleaning up from the October storm, officials said.

Paul Shives, Toms River's business administrator, said the township has asked for as much as $14 million for Sandy aid, and could ultimately ask for upwards to $40 million.

Shives said the layers of government approval - from FEMA, the state or the county, or all of the above - has also helped bring the process, at times, to a near halt.

"it's slow," he said.  "The process is cumbersome. All three levels of government are involved, They are a very decentralized."

Compared to other Shore communities, Toms River has fared a little better. The township received the most money among Ocean County communities, followed by Belmar has rcollected just more than $2.2 million. Neptune Township, which includes hard hit areas of Ocean Grove and Shark River Hills, received the next largest sum at just more than $1.9 million, according to the figures.

“It’s certainly frustrating,’’ said Colleen Connelly, Belmar’s borough administrator. “But we understand that with a disaster of this magnitude comes a lot of bureaucracy.’’

Lynn Servon, secretary of the Neptune Township Economic Development Corporation, said FEMA estimated the township’s damages at around $7.2 million.

The process to get reimbursed for its outlay has been slow until just the past few weeks when the OEM set up an electronic submission system that tracks where in the pipeline requests for reimbursement fall.

“Before that, you sort of didn’t know where you were at,’’ Servon said.

Line items represent payment for specific requests for itemized claims listed in the full report, which can be found by clicking here.

Ocean County government acts as the centralized administrator for doling out grants, so the county's municipalities may appear to have smaller amounts than other regions. Here is the list of Ocean County towns and what they received as of July 30:

Toms River $4,345,788.95
Mantoloking $2,868,989.40
Point Beach $2,624,373.50
Beach Haven $2,167,353.20
Little Rgg Harbor $2,027,072.22
Lavallette $1,149,962.23
Seaside Heights $1,000,355.17
Berkeley $935,319.62
Long Beach Township $859,281.06
Brick $718,525.15
Bay Head $513,114.51
Lacey $419,583.72
Tuckerton $398,078.93
Jackson $359,033.46
Harvey Cedars $240,893.00
Ocean Gate $215,864.83
Surf City $186,619.81
Stafford $152,450.57
Waretown $138,125.11
Lakewood $119,922.75
Point Boro $101,898.11
Beachwood $89,643.72
Ship Bottom $73,810.10
Island Heights $72,480.44
Barnegat Light $66,382.60
South Toms River $52,481.87
Seaside Park $43,713.75
Lakehurst $42,038.06
Plumsted $30,572.06
Eagleswood $27,937.18
Pine Beach $8,382.50
Barnegat NA
Sean Conneamhe August 29, 2013 at 07:57 AM
"Always remember the 5th of November..."
Chief Wahoo August 29, 2013 at 07:59 AM
There is NO money ..... And when they get to this point , they always do what they know best ......go to War.
grace August 29, 2013 at 09:39 AM
sad maruca failed my ward but people just dont seem to get what really happens in this town i will be crying when sherriff is you know who ( mastro) what a messy joke
carolannie August 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Forget billions & zillions. Here are some figures most of us can understand. If the govt allotted $51,000 for Sandy relief, Toms River's share so far is $4.34 (WOW)! Just for comparison, Amtrak will add $188 to the gravy train to "curb railroad bottlenecks in the Northeast" (yep, that's considered Sandy relief), Alaskan & New England fisheries will get $150 for projects totally unrelated to the storm & the Dept of Agriculture will get $125 to restore areas "damaged by wildfires & DROUGHT." $50 will be handed out in "SUBSIDIES to plant trees on private properties" (no Sandy damaged areas are mentioned). For some strange reason Homeland Security is scheduled for $3.30 for Erosion Control (HOMELAND SECURITY? EROSION CONTROL?) & Housing & URBAN Development is going to line its's pockets with (get ready) $15,000 of the $51,000 SANDY relief bill for "future disasters." But but, but Toms River DID get that $4.34...the poor Smithsonian in DC has to settle for $2 to fix its roof that's been leaking FOR THE LAST 10 YRS & the underpaid Inspector General of the Dept of Justice (DOJ?) is only getting 2 CENTS of our $51,000 Sandy slush fund for a new car (a new car?) Most people who were really damaged by the storm won't see a PENNY, let alone the Inspector General's TWO cents!
Chief Wahoo August 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Which is why Chief Wahoo warned all of you be careful what you wish for when you demanded the 50 BILLION.....knew you all would see none of it. (Go look up the Wahoo posts after the Storm) WRONGER THAN THE STORM
Irina August 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM
@Maruca_Failed_My_Ward Oh shut the heck up already, we get the message you don't like Marie Maruca. Your irrational, uneducated, nonsensical ramblings are giving us all a headache. Marie....We WILL be voting for you. You did fine over here on my side of your ward.
Mark August 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM
The APP is reporting that the ethically challenged political hacks that run Toms River Township appointed a "politically connected" law firm to handle the eminent domain litigation. I guess they have absolutely zero same and zero interest in hiding their loyalties. Even after a disaster in which thousands of their constituents suffered catastrophic losses, they have to take care of their political friends. I hope they all rot in the ground one day. Imagine what's done on Washington St that we're not even aware of!
grace August 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM
just another day maruca may be a bit over the top with his disdain for maruca but dont vote for her or others just because you are mad at him
Mark August 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Maruca & the other 3 other dead wood Ward clowns up for re-election MUST GO!
Spooner August 29, 2013 at 04:04 PM
...wasn't that the Clanton gang?
proud August 29, 2013 at 05:06 PM
@Jad, don't get yourself in a tizzy about @Failed_in_the _Ward. His posts are products of a rather vivid imagination with zero credibility. For instance, this morning he claimed to be an "alumni" of Toms River South. Read just one of his posts and tell me if you believe these rants are coming from a high school grad. He is also prone to being an imposter and continually conjures up fantasies about himself. One moment he's Donald Trump and the next he's a member of the Clanton gang. You do know his best friends are Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson, don't you? Other personas he imagines himself to be include Schoolyard rumbler Tony from West Side Story and the Surfer Ken doll. I would imagine that being an astronaut and race driver are either in his future or imaginary past. You never know what he'll come up with next.
grace August 29, 2013 at 07:05 PM
hysterical proud now stop o wait dont lol
Spooner August 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM
proud - was that a juxtaposition you pulled by deleting the 12:39PM post(proud commented on article "FEMA Sandy Money Slow To Get To Toms River, Officials Say" in Hurricane Sandy August 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm) on this thread with the mistake: "Clanton game". . .You got to man-up to your mistakes, not delete and hide them.
proud August 30, 2013 at 05:46 AM
Spoons, I merely corrected an error that was pointed by you. I thanked you for doing so on another string. Im always wary of the Grammar police, you know? Why must everything become conspiracy theory with you? MAN up? Another one that let's their imagination get the better of them.
proud August 30, 2013 at 09:19 AM
It's a little slow in the news this morning, so I stumbled across this autobiography penned by the Fantasy Man (that one can believe a word of it). I believe @Failed_in_the _Fraud now believes that he is an Opera singer. All he needs is a spritz from an atomizer and a warm up with several verses of " Me, me, me, me.....": "[Maruca_Failed_My_Ward NJ Civil Engineer whos family suffered damage to (3) Homes thanks to Sandy and our Inept Mayor and Govenor Former Intern To PA's 19 US Congressional District representative, William Goodling. I Hold a Degree in Civil Engineering and several Credits Towards my MBA a Licensed New Jersey Professional Engineer since 1999. I have been part of some of the GREATEST Infrastructure projects in our state....from SEAWALLS after SANDY......to Road and Bridge Construction on the NJ Turnpike... Most Weekends in the summer, my family and I can be found on the beach in Ortley where I have gone to the beach since I was in a baby stroller... I can often be found on the Bay in my old Donzi crusing...or on my Proline Center Console fishing Inshore and Offshore. I am ALL FOR A BETTER TR....I wish this Town to be AS GREAT as it ONCE WAS when I was Growing up on Hollywood Ave. I have Attended Washington St. Elem. School, TR Int. East, TR HS South, OCC and hold a Degree in Civil Engineering and minors in Economics, Construction Management and in Communications.....]" COMMUNICATIONS? He,he,he,he....
grace August 30, 2013 at 09:28 AM
proud it sounds like an ad on match.com
proud August 30, 2013 at 09:32 AM
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