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Christie: Don't Wait to Elevate, Rebuild; Grant Money on the Way

Governor: Don't listen to 'dopes' saying to hold off

Gov. Chris Christie took a stand this week against public officials and community leaders calling on residents to wait for potential changes to Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps before elevating or rebuilding their homes in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Christie, speaking in Lavallette Tuesday, said the state's adoption of FEMA's advisory base flood elevation maps last month will ensure residents build smarter and stronger, and avoid the consequences that came in Sandy's storm surge.

"Fight away, I'm fighting too, but don't tell people not to rebuild their homes if they want to," said Christie.

"Don't we want people in safer homes and more resilient homes?"

Some have called on residents to wait for FEMA to put out revised, preliminary maps this summer before they raise their homes, since those maps may rezone certain neighborhoods and scale back the type of construction or height needed to comply in order to receive affordable flood insurance rates.

But Christie said waiting could cost residents the chance to score grants that could help pay for house raising, at least for primary residents.

The governor said Tuesday that a grant program funded by the federal government could be in place at the state level as early as late March.

"We want people to make a commitment to stay in these communities," he said, and residents deserve a "helping hand."

The grants will come in the form of Community Development Block Grants.

One of the largest ever single allocations of CDBG funds – $17 billion – was included in the federal Sandy relief package passed by congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Christie said the CDBG funding will be for primary residents only.

Brick Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said in his meetings with officials, future rounds of funding, such as FEMA hazard mitigation grants, could be available for secondary homeowners.

resident February 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Thank you foggyworld for defending summer residents. So many people seem to have a grudge against those who own a second home in the area. We pay over $18,000 a year in taxes to Brick as residents of Mantoloking Shores, and our children do not attend school there. We contribute to the local economy in a big way during the summer months. We were able to purchase the second home, but we can't afford to raise our home or pay new exorbitant flood insurance rates either.
Jackie February 23, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Wow how am I suppose to believe anything the governor says. He publicly stated at the 100th township meeting in stafford that he was going to make an example of me what insurance companies cannot get away with treating people wrongly and not paying us. He even gave me his card to call which I did spoke to his staff they stated they told me they would call me back they never called. I called and called and called and they avoided speaking to me. Don't believe anything absolutely nothing. He doesn't give a dam about any of us. He stated he is losing sleep worrying about us lol. We are losing sleep not having our homes put together.
Karen M February 25, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Supposedly there are strings attached to that grant money. I would not want to have a deed restriction placed upon my property.
beach Haven West March 13, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I feel bad for the people that lost there main house at the shore. I have had a property in BHW for 22 years and I am so tired of hearing that all the benefits go to the primary residence. I pay just at much tax money as the person that lives next to me that is full time actually I pay more because I get no rebate and I pump my money into the local community and surrounding areas. I lost my house and my personal items just like the primary residence did. What form of relief does my family get.
beach Haven West March 13, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Thanks I thought I was the only person having a hard time with us people that own a shore home.

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