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Q: Why Is Government Aid Like A Big Harp?

A: They Both Have Lots Of Strings Attached.


From today’s Asbury Park Press editorial “Clarify State Role In Rebuilding”:

At last week’s council meeting, Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty said “we need assurances there will be no strings attached” to the FEMA money. There should be strings attached. One of them should be an approved beach replenishment and dune system plan. FEMA should not be expending taxpayer dollars on costly projects without some assurances those projects won’t be washed away come the next storm.

• Why should the state allow individual towns to make decisions about how and where to rebuild without first requiring that they have the best, current available information about storm surge and flooding vulnerabilities in various areas?

New FEMA flood maps and base elevation maps will be forthcoming soon. They will provide information critical to making sound judgments about where rebuilding should be allowed to take place and how construction codes should be modified to provide homes, businesses and other structures with maximum protection from future storms. It is irresponsible to move ahead before those maps are updated.

• Doherty last week also announced that the borough has decided to raise daily beach fees next year from $7 to $8. Such fees are another issue that should be addressed at the state level. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and state Sen. Mike Doherty, R-Warren, last week introduced a bill that would prohibit towns receiving state or federal aid for beach restoration from charging beach fees. It also would require those towns to provide free restroom facilities. The bill deserves a full airing — before, not after, FEMA and beach replenishment funds start flowing in.


I warned the mayor that money from the feds or the state would have strings attached.  It is my belief that using a private developer would afford us a lot more flexibility about what goes up there then we would have using federal money.  And we wouldn’t have to even have a beach utility, or decide who gets (civil $ervice) jobs from it.  To me that would seem to be a plus.  (But then again I’m not interested in giving jobs to my friends.)

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