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The Checks Are In The Mail

Or are they?

One important factor you must consider when deciding how to vote August 19th is whether we can be certain that the $3.6 million the mayor says FEMA will pay towards the new pavilions will ever materialize.  What if it doesn’t?  Then what do we do?

Many of us had questions during the post-Sandy spending binge and were repeatedly told not to worry, that FEMA was covering at least 75% and maybe 90% of storm related expenditures.  But now, over a year and a half later, how much of that was actually paid?  How much of it even made it onto FEMA project work sheets?

Let’s start with the boardwalk:

At the November 21, 2012 meeting the mayor announced that our engineering firm had estimated the cost to build a new boardwalk as $17 million.  The council, adding another $3 million for beach clean up costs, passed a $20 million bond (2012-15) shortly thereafter.  Although the winning bid to rebuild the boardwalk came in at only $6.6 million, with a later change order of approximately $2 million bringing it to a total of a little under $9 million, the whole $20 million that was bonded was spent.  So how much of that $20 million – minus the $3 million for the cleanup – was reimbursed by FEMA?

$9.25 million, or 54.4% of the $17 million that was supposedly 90% reimbursable.

But it gets worse…..

Lets look at the two bonds passed at the April 17th, 2013 meeting.  One, 2012-05 for $1.64 million, was for the funding of the capital portions of prior emergency appropriations.  The other, 2012-06 for $1.86 million was to fund the non-capital portion of previous emergency appropriations.  We were told at the time that in the worst case FEMA would reimburse 75% of the $3.5 million total and 90% in the best case.  These expenses were all what FEMA calls “Category B”, which is non-debris related storm costs.

In response to an OPRA request to find out what actual expenditures were being funded by the bonds, the OPRA requester received a “two foot high” pile of paid invoices which included everything from Chevy Tahoes to wet suits to wedding rings.  He compiled them into a ledger:

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Because the total was only $1.8 million, he looked on-line for additional expenses from bill-pay lists that were categorized by the borough as Sandy-related.

He found these:

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I don’t know why the borough called non-overtime payroll Sandy-related, but the total spending that the borough claimed was for category B-type hurricane expenses, came to over $3.7 million!

So how much of that was actually ever paid for by FEMA?

Well, for some reason it turns out that only $390,256.94 ever made it to the sole category B project worksheet that was submitted to FEMA by the borough.  And the only payment we ever received from FEMA for the over $3,500,000.00 we spent was a measly $146,346.36!

So lets see……$3,700,000.00 in expenses.  $146,346.36 paid by FEMA.  That’s under 4%!  What happened?  If this isn’t accurate, please, somebody let me know!

Now here’s the really bad part.  Belmar wanted 12 years to pay off the two bonds that totaled $3.5 million.  But when the town asked the Local Finance Board for a waiver on the down payment, the Board granted the waiver but gave us only 3 years to pay off the bonds.  That means we have less than 2 years left before these two bonds need to be paid off in full.  And the only source of funding, my friends, is you and I.  How on earth can we avoid a big tax increase in the very near furure?



Many of us, including some people much more expert in these things than I am, believe those pavilions can be built for $4 million, or even less.  Could it be that Doherty believes that too and plans to spend only about $4 million on them, leaving $3 million available to pay off the two bonds that are coming due soon?  Remember, the $7 million pavilion bond is for 20 years.  That’s plenty of time!  And this administration has a history of always spending every cent of every bond ever taken out.

Am I crazy?  Is this just another “small town conspiracy theory”?

You decide.



  1. Seeing Red wrote:


    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink
  2. Tom Burke wrote:

    Wow !!! If one buys into your conspiracy theory, that may account for the assertion by the Mayor that Epic will not hold to their current bid amount if the outcome of the vote is no. To me that is one of the few things that would make that assertion plausible. Also of note:If taxpayers are not awe struck by the lists of items they must have their heads buried in the new replenishment sand at the beach.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink
  3. Guest wrote:

    Like a drunken sailor he has spent his way through the town. It’s time to shut the money faucet off.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink
  4. DR ZAIUS wrote:

    Even Apes don’t spend this much

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  5. Is It Legal wrote:

    I hate to break the news to you, but I just went on to, Municipal, online records, Bill Payments.
    July 1 list: $150,000. to Maser paid by emergency capital expenditure Bond 2013-05. Is it legal to take a current non-capital expense and bond it as a emergency capital expense.’

    This year’s trailer rentals
    4/30/14 $1,156. put against Boardwalk reconstruction Bond 2012-15. Its’t this a current Beach Utility cost?

    I am just getting started on the next most recent May 2.2014 Bills List:
    Jaeger Lumber: $137.63
    Taylor Hardware:$235.05
    Vinly Flooring-Hist. Soc. $4236.90

    You need to update your accounting because in the last two months alone, $154,609.58 gets added to the over 1.8. Another $1156. added to Bond 2012-15 boardwalk.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  6. admin wrote:

    Would you send them over to FEMA for me?

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  7. Uncomfortable Truth wrote:

    Dear Is It Legal:
    You missed a bunch! June and April
    It appears we are paying Maser for the Pavillions using Capital Emergency Expenditure Bond 2013-05 found another bill paid for 5/28/14 $2170.
    Add another$12,463.26 paid against this bond. ( Including $3559.30 to our bond atty. for issuing more 05-Bonds ).
    June to April also found $26,097.74 additional to Boardwalk Reconstruction Bond 2012-15 and $3950. additional for 2013-06.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Like a drunken sailor he has spent his way through the town. It’s time to shut the money faucet off.

    The difference being, when drunken sailors don’t have anymore money, they stop spending and go back to the ship.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  9. Seeing Red wrote:

    I really hope everyone makes sure every eligible voter in your house votes and your neughbors as well. If need be Red Eye Can drive them up to Freehold

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  10. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    ALERT! …. Belmar Taxpayers …. a leprechaun stole your credit cards!

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink
  11. Pay to play wrote:

    Pay to play

    There should be an entertainment tax of 10% on any place that charges admission in Belmar for entrance.This way the establishments that need extra police are really paying for said police.

    Example a bar has a capacity of 700 patrons with a turn over of 1.3 would yield approximately 1,000 paid admissions or cover charge fees, most bars seem to charge $10 at $1.00 per person this is $1,000 per night.Belmar taxpayers are therefore not burden with the cost of police associated with these nightclubs. Thoughts?

    Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
  12. Guest wrote:

    This should be printed and mailed to every house in Belmar!

    Pay to Play: D’Jais charges $20 to walk through the door. Cash!!! In their pocket, and us fools are paying for multiple police calls to “18th and Ocean”.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  13. Is It Legal wrote:

    I give up. A critical expose of waste and it all gets back to D’Jais. Like a broken record since I moved to Belmar.
    This last post makes me wonder about the sanity of people here.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
  14. Tulip wrote:

    The people are sane enough to recognize the root of the problem.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  15. Guest wrote:

    The admin does and amazing job exposing the fraud in Belmar, the problem is the Asbury Park press does not give a dam. Coast star writer is 18 yrs old. who else is there?

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  16. DR ZAIUS wrote:

    There is nobody else. APP would care if the Mayor was a Rep………………..

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    Coast Star “writer” – scribbler is a better word.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 7:20 am | Permalink
  18. admin wrote:

    The Coast Star isn’t that kind of paper that does real investigative journalism. The Asbury Park Press on the other hand bills itself as that kind of paper but they are obviously complete turkeys.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink
  19. ms.perspicacity wrote:

    I wonder what is hidden in the Nov. 12 “miscellaneous” category, especially the one item for $15,707. When I worked in accounting, I needed receipts for every item charged and the expense had to be justified by a higher-up and signed off. An unidentified item for that much money? Boy, I wish I had worked for Belmar. I could have furnished my home from “miscellaneous” with no apparent question. Or so it seems.

    Friday, July 25, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  20. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    One of my guys tried to get away with that type of stuff. Well he no longer is with my family. Take a guess where he is. That’s right he got a job with the borough of belmar. Sad….

    Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

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