Colts Neck Officials Put $750K Estimate on Sandy Damage and Cleanup
The township hopes to get a large portion of those fees paid through FEMA.
It has been little over a month since Sandy struck New Jersey, and townships are now left holding the bill.
Colts Neck officials have priced the storm at $750,000, which includes emergency services and public works overtime, outside contractors and damage cleanup.
Township Administrator Bob Bowden said the hope is to recoup anywhere between 75 and 90 percent from FEMA funds, but it is difficult to say when that will happen.
"It could take six or even 12 months to get it back," Bowden said.
The 2012 Colts Neck budget less than $1,000 away from the mandatory two percent budget increase cap. Now, Bowden and township finance officials are suggesting the township borrow the money to pay for Sandy cleanup, as to not burn through the 2013 budget surplus.
The township committee voted to bond the money, with an amendment to the vote that any money recovered from FEMA in reference to Sandy must be used to pay the bond down.
Sandy in numbers
During and after Sandy, Colts Neck police responded to 601 calls and the townships spent $22,000 in overtime for the department. Until it became unnecessary, the township had one extra officer on duty per shift.
The Public Works department collected 1,400 truck loads of brush and debris, totaling 14,000 cubic yards by Nov. 28. Three private contractors have been hired to help the township DPW.
The comfort stations set up by the township in three locations, which serviced 1,000 residents. Each location provided showers to residents, which also required constant septic tank pumping.
Colts Neck First Aid responded to 26 calls, and the Colts Neck fire departments responded to 188 calls including two structure fires. Both emergency services branches also responded to calls in Sea Bright, Lake Como and Union Beach.
The Colts Neck administration responded to 800 emails. To do so required the mayor and committee to work weekends in Town Hall, as well as administrative personnel.
The $750,000 figure is a current estimate. Bowden said if the township needs more, it will apply again to FEMA.