A top Christie Administration official told the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Agency (FMERA) that they had no choice but to allocate 14 2 story living units in the Suneagles Golf Course area of the fort, located in Eatontown, for use as quarantine housing for travelers returning from West Africa who may have been exposed to Ebola, according to an official familiar with the situation who asked not to be named in this story.
Bruce Steadman, Executive Director of FMERA, and some members for the FMERA board resisted the Ebola quarantine facility being located at Fort Monmouth when they were approached by NJ Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Valez Esq. last fall. Michele Brown, then Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority , informed Steadman that the quarantine facility was a fait accompli, according to the source.
Havana Tropical Café, a Cuban Restaurant which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, was awarded a $50,000 Stronger NJ Business Grant by the Christie Administration this week, according to a release by the NJ Economic Development Authority.
The Stronger NJ Business Grant program is funded through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Similar to other Sandy relief grant programs, there are strict federal eligibility requirements to which the EDA and applicants must comply. To date, 374 grants have been approved totaling $18.1 million. An additional $24 million in loans have been approved by EDA through the program. This includes 11 grants in Highlands and 60 in all of Monmouth County.
The weather reports say it will be too warm to snow on Thrusday and Governor Chris Christie is hoping the third time is the charm.
The twice postponed Town Hall Meeting on Sandy Relief Funds is now scheduled for Thursday, February 20th, 11am, at VFW Post 2179, 1 Veterans Way (Off Rt 36) in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown Township. Doors open at 10:00 am. Seating is first come first served. RSVP’s are requested via email at TownHall.Middletown@gov.state.nj.us.
Joining Christie will be Office of Recovery and Rebuilding Executive Director Marc Ferzan, Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner Chuck Richman, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown and Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski.
A mobile cabinet meeting to assist Sandy impacted homeowners and businesses is scheduled to follow the Town Hall from 12:30 till 2:00 pm.
Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, commended the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for its commitment to Monmouth County’s efforts to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy and redevelop Fort Monmouth.
“We were knocked down by Sandy and the State has been there from the beginning offering a helping hand to get businesses and families back on their feet,” O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said. “From providing temporary housing units for families to providing grants and loans to businesses that suffered damage, the authority has been absolutely committed to our region and intends to place staff in our communities – potentially at Fort Monmouth – to ensure easy access to grants and assistance for business owners.”