Christie Outlines Goals for 2013, 2014

A packed house of about 800 people attended the Governor's 100th town hall meeting

Help is on the way, but it is going to be at least another year before New Jersey's beaches are back to what people remember from summer of 2012.

That was the message from Governor Chris Christie at the 100th town hall meeting, held today at St Mary's Parish Center in Stafford.

Christie fielded questions from residents and business owners located all over southern Ocean County today, many of whom voiced frustration over lack of payouts from insurance companies and FEMA.

Although Christie said that he is confident Senate officials will approve the Sandy relief package totaling $50.7 billion in coming days, and the measure will be signed by the President shortly thereafter, he said there is bookkeeping to be done, which could hold up checks to individuals for a few more weeks.

After the President signs the bill, "don't expect to see me on your doorstep the next day after it is signed," Christie said, to some chuckles from attendees. However, he said, his office is committed to disseminating the funds in a quick fashion to those in need.

He said the funds will go toward several areas, specifically: dune replenishment and block grants to help business owners rebuild.

That was good news for business owners like Tom Paxton, owner of Great Bay Marina in Little Egg Harbor, who said he has recieved little to no help from his insurance or government agencies after Sandy leveled his docks.

"We need to rebuild," he said in a comment to Christie.

Christie told residents that summer 2014 is the target date by which residents would see the beach they left in summer 2012. The goal for this summer, he said, is to make the waterways navigable again, and make the beaches  comfortable enough for people to get back into their homes, and this summer, for people to visit, swim, and have fun. 

"I don't want there to be unrealistic expectations," Christie said. "We want to rebuild the right way." He said this will mean taking a hard look at the revised advisory FEMA flood maps, and for residents, rebuilding to the specifications requested.

Stafford Mayor John Spodofora, who was in attendance at the town hall today. said during a recent meeting that 2013 will be a rough one for the township.

The current tax base is certain to drop with an estimated 4500 homes and business having their current assessments adjusted due to the damage they suffered, said Spodofora.

A reduction in revenue is not an option at this point as the township suffered severe infrastructure damage to roads, bayfront areas, the Beach Haven West Community Center and the water and sewer system among other areas, said the mayor.

A Beach Haven West resident expressed concerns about having to walk away from her home, because she and her neighbors are facing rising taxes, and, if they don't comply with revised FEMA maps, higher flood insurance premiums.

"Choices will need to be made here ... some are unpleasant choices," Christie answered, but, he added, he is hopeful that the aid will ease at least some of those choices.

Pete Saltpeter January 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM
come on man the republicons who control the house were busy Mitt said fema is immoral
Joe Semiraro January 17, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I have listened and read that the bay will be restored to pre-Sandy conditions. That is ridiculous. When Katrina hit the South and ruined the levees protecting New Orleans, the Army Corp of Engineers rebuilt the levees to a condition better than they were to try and prevent a future occurrence. Over the last 25-30 years as this area developed, sand and other debris have washed into the bays and lagoons inhibiting the water's ability to flow out to the ocean. Bringing the waterways back to pre-Sandy conditions will only insure a stronger possibility of a recurrence. Dredging the waterways to the depths that existed when they were built would more likely prevent a repeat of much of the flooding damage caused by Sandy for a very long time.
Bionic Bill January 18, 2013 at 12:14 AM
I'm hearing more and more of this.. Insurance companies have no problem taking your money and after 20 to 30 years you have a claim then they throw all these stipulations at you how they can't pay you your money.. Big time scam!! A ponzi scheme! I hear some people are taking insurance money and walking away from their properties. I know alady in Beach Haven West that ust found out she has to raise her house before she sells it or the town will not issue a C.O., Insurance will not pay anything to raise the house.. House is 40 years old and never flooded since it was built, probably never will again...
rusty January 18, 2013 at 01:08 AM
All insurance companies stink...You can pay out of your nose for home, health, auto and life. They can and will give you the least that they can get away with. I have seen a lot of individuals get screwed over in my lifetime. You all better off putting the money you pay insurance companies each year and invest in your own account. The insurance companies hire a bunch of salesmen who will sell you anything and tell you nothing. Even if you ask them, they only tell you what they want you to know. Insurance is a scam like everything else in the world. They are a bunch of low lives.
Mr. ? January 18, 2013 at 01:29 AM
I believe she can still sell here home. That becomes the buyers problem. She must, as to the knowledge of the situation, declare the problem in the disclosure agreement


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