News Alert
Governor Chris Christie To Host Town Hall In…

A Tough Year Ahead For Berkeley Township

Financial blowback from Superstorm Sandy will impact budget, officials say

2013 is not going to be pretty.

"This upcoming year we have a real mountain to climb," Township Council President James J. Byrnes said at the Jan. 4 reorganization meeting.

"The whole town is going to have to pay," he said. "We have a tough year ahead. In two years, we are going to be back up. We owe it to the people who put us up here to do the best we can."

"Obviously it's going to be a very challenging year in Berkeley," Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said. "We are still picking up the pieces from Superstorm Sandy."

The township has lost between $300 million to $500 million in ratables since Sandy hammered Berkeley and the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29, Amato has said.

"Our budget is going to be deeply impacted," the mayor said. "Taxes are going to go up as a result of loss of ratables."

The ratable plunge will translate into a loss of $9 million to $10 in tax revenue, including schools, county and the township, Amato has said.

The Township Council in December authorized an emergency appropriate of $6 million to deal with the damage to beaches, infrastructure and clean-up from Sandy.

Amato said Friday night that the township will seek permission from the state to spread the cost over a 10-year period instead of five years, to lessen the tax burden each year.

The actual property damage to beaches, bulkheads, buildings, roads and the infrastructure is estimated at roughly $2.5 million.

But when cleanup costs are factored in - including employees, contractors, equipment, tipping fees at the Ocean County Landfill, gas, and police coverage, the number is much higher.

Township officials have said Berkeley should qualify for a 75 percent reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But Amato is hoping for a 90 percent reimbursement eventually for clean-up costs.

In other business, council members again tapped Ward 1 Councilman James J. Byrnes to serve as council president and Councilwoman-at-Large Judy Noonan as council vice-president.

"They did such a great job last year, we decided to give it back to them," Councilwoman Fran Siddons said.

Rj January 05, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Instead of the people paying for everything and always suffering.. how about congress and government all take a pay cut to put money back into the system to pay for this? why should people who are already just barely getting by always have to suffer while all of the politicians keep their raises, bonuses, vacations, paid transportation, healthcare and everything else they get.. TIME TO TAKE BACK AMERICA!!!!
Doris Cauda January 05, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Members of the House, Senate and the present Administration should be FIRED, never mind cutting their pay. They have failed to do the job they were elected do.It's the same story every year since Obama was elected. This "Fiscal Cliff" happens every year, down to the last few minutes since Obama was elected. This year, the members of Congress had 3 minutes to read the bill before voting. The Senate President, Harry Reid has failed to pass a budget for the last 4 years. Every budget presented by the House has been rejected by Reid. As a result of no budget, our illustrious President has gone on a spending spree like a drunken sailor with an unlimited credit card. He says he's for the working man but it's US, THE WORKING, who will pay and our children and our grandchildren too. We will wind up bankrupt, like the European countries and have our credit rating downgraded to the same class as a 3rd world country. How's that hope and change now?
Chief Wahoo January 05, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Just more useless excuses !!!......We have yet to hear the word CUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!! What are you clowns going to do when the people Can not afford to pay any more property taxes at the threat of force of losing their property
super user January 05, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Raising taxes seems to be the answer to everything.
Robert Slattery January 06, 2013 at 05:54 AM
I just have a rise in my taxes of 53.73 a month
Keeping whats mine January 06, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Agree with Rj & Doris. They also waste money for Nascar and asparagus farmers. Really? Time to thin the do nothing herd. The ones left pay cut or freeze at the very least. We all have the same healthcare and pay for our own vacations. obamas big issue is gun control when we have many more problems that need immediate attention. No jobs, high gas, horrible debt and out of control spending and so on. What a joke. Hope and change? I hope i have some change $.
Chief Wahoo January 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
The land value in this crappy flood ridden town is way over assessed. Why are we paying so high a figure for living by the water , if living by the water causes houses to be flooded. This Ponzi property tax bubble must end. I have a feeling the banks are not going to continue to sit back and let people not be able to afford their mortgages because of the outrageous property tax bills. Unless , that really is the master plan of the NWO all along.
N. Jon I. Twist January 06, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Since the government denied my access to my property. Why should I pay tax on that property for the 2 months, that it was unavailable? That would reduce my tax bill by 1/6 th. Time to look for an attorney
Chief Wahoo January 06, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Why do i only see private citizens and volunteers doing all the work on the dunes now..... And yet, the town thinks they are going to raise the property taxes on these good people, even higher than the present robbery figures they are at now ..... Can you imagine how much the town would be in the hole, if SSP was washed away..... Property Tax Revolt !!!!!!
mike January 06, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Seriously?.....Raise the taxes, Raise the taxes. for what? already too high for swamp land. Let the people who built these mansions on the water pay these high taxes.
gil porcelli January 07, 2013 at 12:56 AM
its a joke,we are paying high enough taxes already.no access to property for two months and taxes are already high enough to look like a mortgage payment.raising taxes will lower property values,and still will end up with lower tax revenue.
shore1709 January 09, 2013 at 03:26 PM
How about we cut back on the insane school taxes...
Arthur Saltzman March 16, 2013 at 05:31 PM
your comment sounds great ...everyone will applaud you ...but unfortunately the reality isn't what it seems /...nowadays most,not all, of our congressmen and women are millionaires to begin with and all took a big pay cut to run for the conress and senate...plus they get no bonuses...and they have only had 1 pay raise in the past 10 years...as to paid transportation only a select few and that is because of security reasons ...as to healthcare ...even employees of walmart get some type of paid healthcare so why shouldn't the people who WE THE PEOPLE ELECT get it. Rj your problem is you don't read or do research before you make rediculous claims ...
Arthur Saltzman March 16, 2013 at 05:41 PM
i think all of you misinformed and selective memory folks who are so disgusted with whats going on should either run for office or leave this country ...because all this complaining isn't going to improve your situations ...your the type that loved REAGAN when he was president ..yet none of you are aware that it was his regregulation policies that caused all our manufacturing base to leave the country ...and everything else was outsourced....check it out and get an education ...all this job promising by politicians is never going to happen because why pay an american 15./hour with benefits when you can outsource and pay 3/ hour with no benefits to some third world country ...the idea of being in business is to maximize profits ...why do you think over the past 30 years the rich have increased there income by over 100 % while the middle class avg. income has remained the same...but you can keep wasting your breathe blaming obama ...or even congress and it means nothing...so learn to live with it or leave and go work in one of those third world countries where they have jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
foggyworld April 24, 2013 at 12:39 AM
That's a sad part of the problem. I applied in December to get clean up help from Ocean Alliance and they were excited but told me the Mayor would have to approve their coming to Bayville. Never heard from them again. A few weeks ago I wrote to the Mayor and asked if we could apply for help from Americorps which was seeking out work and he never responded to my email. I know not to apply on my own because apparently it is up to the Mayor to decide which volunteer groups can work in this town. Sad that help has been available and yet Bayville hasn't seen any of it other than one visit from a local neighborhood association. We need the Americorps equipment more than anything to lift the things we can't by ourselves. But my hopes are slim to none after watching this debacle go on for months. This town also doesn't seem to apply to the Robin Hood Foundation or the Governor's Wife's Purse or any other group that has raised money that could well be directed to cleaning up.
foggyworld April 24, 2013 at 12:40 AM
The majority of the homes hit were not mansions.
Arthur Saltzman April 24, 2013 at 02:09 AM
like the millions in aid from FEMA isn't enough the governor got what he asked for ...
Arthur Saltzman April 24, 2013 at 02:11 AM
lets cut out public works... the police ...the mayor and council ...the clerks office ...zoning office and all other municipal employees and lets not forget schools ..lets cut it all ...
Arthur Saltzman April 24, 2013 at 02:12 AM
boy we need more citizens like you ...please be my guest i will help you move ...get out of town and don't let the door hit you as you leave
Arthur Saltzman April 24, 2013 at 02:20 AM
doris cauda ..with all due respect i have never seen anyone distort facts as well as you ...you are so factually challenged that you wouldn't recognize truth if it was put in front of your facev ...read the true facts and you may learn something like how government works!!!!!!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »