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It Just Seems To Me

I don’t really know a lot about this stuff but it just seems to me that controlling the water level of a small lake that sits a couple of hundred feet from the ocean should not be a difficult engineering challenge.  It also seems to me that the time to finally and permenantly fix the drainage system for Silver Lake would have been right after the storm, before we restored that area of the oceanfront and while Ocean Ave was closed.

What happened last week was catastrophic, all that work and money spent by our lakeside residents and by the taxpayers to clean up after Sandy was washed away only six months later.  Why was restoration of the boardwalk and the marina given priority over the protection of our residents homes?  I’m very lucky that the house Karen and I picked twenty years ago just happens to sit on one of the highest points in Belmar, but if I lived near the lake and saw all these millions of dollars being spent on pretty much everything except protecting my home from this repeated flooding I would be fuming.

But I’m not an engineer.  Maybe it’s more difficult than I’m presuming it is.

Another thing that just doesn’t seem right to me is this whole business with the $4.5 million FEMA Community Disaster “loan”.  The mayor assures us that 98 percent of the time this type of loan is forgiven.  If that’s the case, why do they go through the charade of pretending it’s a loan?  Why not just call it a grant?  And who are these 2 percent that actually had to pay it back?  Why didn’t they qualify for forgiveness?

The whole thing seems weird.  If there’s overwhelming odds that we won’t need to pay it back, and if FEMA owes us tens of millions of dollars in aid anyway, why are they demanding collateral?  And when asked to respond to the mayor’s prediction that we won’t have to pay it back, FEMA spokesman Christopher McKniff replied “When you enter into an agreement, it’s a loan. Municipalities are expected to pay it back,”

I don’t know.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so skeptical.  It just doesn’t smell right to me.

One more thing.  I’m sure our $7 million FEMA check for the boardwalk is already in the mail, but if we were so ahead of the curve to get our boardwalk built, and it was so important to lock up human and material resources before our neighbors got to them, why have Seaside, Spring Lake and Avon gotten their FEMA checks already but we’re still waiting?

Just wondering.  I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.


  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    In this post in particular, I can hear you saying the words you set to print. I don’t know that I have ever known someone who actually writes in the same manner that they speak. Sounds funny I know, but I often “hear” your words as I read your writing. This is a real gift that you have.

    Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Tom Burke wrote:

    I am no engineer either, but it does not take a rocket scientist to know that when you are draining storm water into a lake via a dozen or so 16-24 inch pipes, that it takes a pretty good sized pumping capacity to keep up. To me there are obvious approaches to lessen the burden on the lake drainage or water level control. It does not seem to have been a priority. This is very unfortunate to those who see first hand the problems. I sure would think they would be insisting that corrective actions be taken. Excuses do not address the problem, action does.

    Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

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