Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ4) announced that FEMA will be reimbursing the Borough of Belmar and the South Monmouth Regional Sewerage Authority (SMRSA) 90%, instead of the standard 75%, of the cost of repairs to infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Belmar is slated to receive $1.74 million for repairs to marina buildings, bridges, docks and other facilities, in addition to the $9 million already granted for their boardwalk replacement. SMRSA will receive $2.083 million to relocate and replace a pump station.
“As someone who has been going to Belmar since I was a young boy, I can easily envision how these improvements will change the Belmar waterfront which was nearly unrecognizable to me when I first saw it days after Superstorm Sandy hit,” said Smith. “Boardwalks and marina facilities are the critical for many Jersey Shore towns and rebuilding them and restoring them is essential to recovery.”
The Belmar grant will help fund nine construction sites, four of which are completed and the others underway.
The SMRSA pumping station will be relocated from 501 North Boulevard in Lake Como to a new site at 1800 Parkway in Lake Como.
“This pumping station has had a long history of flood damages,” Smith said. “This funding will help move it to a location intended to avoid or minimize future impairments and service disruptions.” The grant award follows a review by FEMA that evaluated potential environmental impacts.
“Sandy damaged critical infrastructure up-and-down the coast,” said Smith, who toured damage throughout Monmouth and other counties in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. “This grant undoes a poor location decision made back in the 1970s.” Superstorm Sandy submerged the pump station in five to six feet of water, shutting it down until a temporary bypass system was set up.
The South Monmouth Regional Sewerage Authority (SMRSA) provides sanitary sewer conveyance and treatment for Monmouth County’s coastal towns of Belmar, Lake Como, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Brielle, and Wall Township.
Smith noted that FEMA increasing the funding of repairs from 75% to 90% of the projects cost will provide an additional $347,000 to the SMRSA project and $290,000 to the Belmar project.
Smith took a lead role in obtaining $60 billion in federal disaster relief funding for Superstorm Sandy victims. He later pressed FEMA to fund 90 percent of municipal clean-up and rebuilding costs, instead of the standard 75 percent.