Plan in Works to House Displaced Hurricane Sandy Victims at Fort Monmouth

Eatontown mayor says 400-500 families could be accommodated

Fort Monmouth could become a temporary home for families displaced by Hurricane Sandy in the near future, Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said during a council meeting on Thursday night.

"A significant effort will be made to open up Fort Monmouth with a significant amount of housing that will be made available if this all comes to fruition," Mayor Tarantolo said. "Somewhere in the area of 400-500 families could be accommodated."

Tarantolo said several areas in the main post section of Fort Monmouth have been identified as possible housing areas that "could probably be up to speed very shortly through the funds that will be provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)."

The housing units would likely need several repairs in order to be made hospitable for the victims, as the many buildings have been vacant for several years and are not hooked up to utilities.

He said the county and the state will be part of that effort to make this housing available.

"This is just an interim arrangement and the logistics of doing something like this is of an order of magnitude," Tarantolo said. "Nevertheless, because of the severity of the event, we've got to take these steps to accommodate those people that were devastated by the storm."

Tarantolo said the plan is not yet fully formed, but that he has an idea of which buildings will be used as housing. He said he did not want to share the locations until they are finalized.

He said he will provide an update once more information becomes available

"I'm very pleased that through my contacts with FEMA that they will follow through with FMERA (Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority) and the governor's office to make these arrangements, and it looks like we're in the process now of accomplishing that and I feel very good about that," Tarantolo said.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement in response to the news that inspectors from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were at Fort Monmouth on Nov. 8 assessing the conditions of facilities for possible use as shelters and temporary housing"

"I am very encouraged to know everyone is working together to assess the resources at Fort Monmouth that might be able to help us house our displaced residents.  We will continue to push for quick answers but the level of cooperation amongst the agencies involved is encouraging. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are taking all the right steps to vet out this option. The Monmouth County Prosecutor, Christopher J. Gramiccioni, has also been a key part of this process and I appreciate his active involvement. On behalf of my constituents, I am grateful for the effort."

elise hayes November 09, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Good news! It's most important to help the people who lost their homes & are displaced. Many area businesses have suffered a great loss of business since the Fort closed, so hopefully it will help them as well.
Shannon K. Winning November 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
FMERA issued this statement yesterday: The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), the agency charged with the redevelopment of the former Fort Monmouth, has been actively engaged with the Army, Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, and other state and federal agencies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. FMERA is helping to identify ways to best utilize Fort Monmouth's assets to assist those impacted by the storm. On Wednesday, November 7th, inspectors from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were at the former Post assessing the conditions of facilities for possible use as shelters and temporary housing. Many of the former Post's facilities have been dormant for several years and will require work to be inhabitable. The results of the inspections will be evaluated in the near term to determine potential housing resources at the Fort. FMERA pledges to continue to explore all housing options to help our affected communities.
Debbie pierce November 09, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This is most awesome I live around the corner from the fort and it should be used people have list so much and will take a long time to regain they're loss. Please open the gates and give them some hope
Eatontown Taxpayer November 09, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Outstanding job by Declan O'Scanlon. He was the first elected official to contact FMERA to get this ball rolling.
Shoregal November 09, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Great idea, those poor people over at Monmouth Park are suffering! They need a warm shelter and a comfortable place to sleep and live until they come up with a permanent solution.
lyn procopio November 09, 2012 at 10:50 PM
yes yes yes please open fort monmouth for displaced people. who can we write to let them know we are in favor of this? lp
Shannon K. Winning November 09, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Certainly residents could contact their senators and representatives. They can also contact the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority: 2-12 Corbett Way Eatontown, NJ 07724 732.720.6350 FMERAINFO@njeda.com
Butch Gregoria November 10, 2012 at 01:48 AM
This is a shame. I have been a hugh supporter of A: trying to keep the Fort Open since they first announced its closing and B: Keeping some of the buildings open and available for situations just like this one. Certified Letters to both Bush and Obama went unanswered and conversations with Bruce Steadmans staff from FMERA lead me to the local FEMA office today where I was told that there were inspectors looking at certain buildings and that it was still ARMY property. Damn...it was good enough for Springsteen but its not good enough for storm victims families. Kmart had roof damage that affected a large part of the store and they got a recovery company in there for 2 days and had the store open, you mean to tell me that Kmart is more efficient than the Army Corps Of Engineers? This would be no brainer if it were an election issue. Guess what..winters just around the corner and anyone who thinks that this wont be a mess at that time should give up there position and let someone that will be more vocal take over, someone with compassion that has what it takes to confront the political machine....SAD!!
beachlover November 10, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Seems obvious to me! It was a military base, which meant it has military housing. I would assume that is what they would use.
Edward Van Embden (Editor) November 10, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Honestly, the Fort should have been opened and accepting people on Day One. It's taken two weeks of outages, freezing cold and snow, and plenty of frustration just for the discussion to even come up. Meanwhile, people are living in tents or sleeping on cots with 100 people in the same room.
jerseyswamps November 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM
The problem is you have government getting in the way government helping people. There's probably 6-12 local, state and federal offices all with a hand in giving an OK to place people in these facilities. Or then someone will file a law suit to halt the effort and sympathetic judge will issue a temporary order stopping something from moving forward. We hear stories all the time about a huge project grinding to a halt or never even getting started because someone's priorities are out of line with what's good. We have too much government.
Drbob November 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
This was a no brainer was talked about in my circle from day one. Two weeks later and how long will this process take now? Let's hope they move swiftly and efficiently and get it done
Hildred W November 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Finally some common sense and logic. The FEMA manpower used to set up "Tent City" should have been utilized in getting the Fort Monmouth housing set up from Day One!
Joanne Corley November 10, 2012 at 02:07 PM
WONDERFUL!! They need to be in a warm building NOT tents....Its getting colder and it may be a while that they are displaced.....Hoping Fort Monmouth will open its doors soon!
christine November 10, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Thats the best idea I've heard since this storm..The Fort is just sitting there,they really should have done this on day one for these poor people..Lets hope the Government gets their collective s*@t together and get these people in a safe warm place!! They have been through enough!
Paula Iskenderian Guglielmo November 10, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Finally, what's taken so long as it is the obvious choice! Should have been done on day 2 !
Jennifer November 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
There is the issue of schooling...I think they should work out a plan where people who live within reasonable commuting distance can live at the fort but continue to send their kids to their home districts - not only would it benefit the local schools, which would not see a huge flood of displaced students, but it would be better for the kids to maintain the ties to their home communities.
marylou November 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
jerseyswamps,it's probably already happening.Some of the residents of the towns where families could be housed are complaining about the cost to shool their children.
marylou November 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM
That may sound good on paper,and I'm sure the kids and thier parents would prefer to continue in their same schools.But,how are the kids going to get to their schools?If the parents are fortunate enough to have escaped with their cars and still have jobs,they may not have time to drop the kids off before work.If they have no cars,the kids will have to be bussed to their home districts.
Mary Ann November 10, 2012 at 05:57 PM
It should have been done already .As far as schooling goes busing can be arranged for each individual area housed such as Seaside people all in one area of housing and so forth , come on get real this can work .Schools already bus kids to & fro w/o much of a problem .
Daniel J. Frizell Sr: November 18, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Get the President to sign a excutive order, Time to start a kind of organzation That F. D. R. started in the 1930s. Look at how many craftmen we have out of work a endless work force. time to use it. time for someone to carry the ball, we can fix this My heart goes to these poor souls, My family did ok, thank god, Mr President are your socks dry.
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