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Mayor Blasts Possible Diversion Of Sandy Funds

Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development considering diverting $1 billion in Sandy-funds to non-Sandy projects, mayor says

by Patricia A. Miller

Keep Superstorm Sandy funding where it belongs.

That's Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr.s' reaction to the possibility of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development diverting much-needed Sandy money to Berkeley and other Sandy-battered areas in the state.

Amato called the possible diversion of $1 billion in Sandy-related funding to non-Sandy projects "unconscionable" at the May 5 Township Council meeting.

He read an April 25 letter he wrote to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

"Such an act is simply unfathomable," he wrote. "How HUD could consider diverting much-needed fund to other projects is simply beyond me."

Amato invited Donovan to visit devastated areas of Berkeley and the Jersey Shore and see the lack of progress in rebuilding.

"I invited you to come and speak with my residents, who can provide first-hand accounts of their struggles to regain their lives and to return to their homes," the mayor said in the letter. "New Jersey has not been restored and the money earmarked for it under this funding still will not be enough."

It's just not coming fast enough," Amato said. "We need to get the feds and the state to expedite this."

Many residents are still out of their homes, trying to rebuild or waiting on grant money, a process Amato called "emotionally exhausting."

"My community continues to try to rebuild and move on, but it will be years before conditions, both financially and aesthetically, return to pre-Sandy levels," he said in the letter.

The waterfront communities of Berkeley Township - Good Luck Point, Glen Cove, Pelican Island and some sections of South Seaside Park and Toms River Shores - were hit hard by Sandy.

"This money has been specifically allocated to the disaster that struck new Jersey on October 29, 2012, and it should remain that way," Amato said in the letter.
Brandy the Dog May 07, 2014 at 06:30 AM
This is just the beginning.
d.m. May 07, 2014 at 08:18 AM
So is the mayor blasting his big belly photo op buddy, the guy on his election mailer?http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/01/questions_raised_about_christies_use_of_sandy_funds_to_build_complex_in_town_where_mayor_endorsed_hi.html
d.m. May 07, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Or is this a pick and choose type of outrage?
Brandy the Dog May 07, 2014 at 08:51 AM
Agency Appropriation Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) $5.4 billion Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Authority Emergency Relief $5.4 billion Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $3.9 billion Army Corps of Engineers $1.35 billion Department of the Interior $287 million Department of Health and Human Services $100 million Department of Veterans Affairs $235 million Small Business Administration $161 million National Guard $24.2 million Department of Agriculture $6 million Amtrak $32 million Federal Aviation Administration $14.6 million Agriculture $218 million Commerce, Justice, Science $513.25 million Department of Defense $88.335 million Energy and Water $3.997 billion Financial Services $651 million Homeland Security $6.544 billion Interior and Environment $1.166 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education $725 million Transportation, Housing and Urban Development $19.773 billion
Spooner May 07, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Why are Sandy funds going to Alaska? It's called PORK!

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