Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-10) said that $15 million of Essential Services Grants awarded to Toms River will help local officials to maintain funding for critical services while the community recovers from massive destruction suffered during Hurricane Sandy.
“The $15 million awarded to Toms River will help our community devastated by Hurricane Sandy to survive the financial strain that has followed the storm,” said Holzapfel. “This grant will ensure that public safety, our children’s education and other basic services are not sacrificed as we work to rebuild and recover.”
Communities like Toms River that have suffered great destruction in natural disasters often face an ongoing financial struggle for months or years after the initial crisis has ended.
Property tax revenues collected by Toms River will likely take some time to recover as homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed by Sandy will have reduced assessments until they are rebuilt and habitable. Similarly, other local revenues, including those related to tourism, parking and beaches, will likely be reduced as infrastructure and facilities are rebuilt.
“The financial turmoil that followed Sandy is the stealth storm that many people who are focused on physical destruction don’t think about,” said Wolfe. “You don’t want to think about tax revenues when homes have washed away, but you still need to make sure you can keep police on the streets and kids in classrooms as large parts of the community work to rebuild. This $15 million will help make sure that happens.”
The $15,510,417 grant to Toms River is roughly half of the $31 million of Essential Services Grants that have been announced to date for Sandy-impacted local governments in New Jersey through Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will administer the distribution of the CDBG funds in New Jersey.
“We’ve been working in concert with state and federal officials to ensure that our Sandy-impacted communities get every bit of assistance that is available for homeowners, businesses and local governments,” added McGuckin. “This $15 million Essential Services Grant to Toms River is just one small part of the $1.8 billion in aid that has started flowing to New Jersey to help us with all aspects of the recovery.”