Public Comment Period Is Open for Proposed Funding Transfer; Public Hearing Will Be Held on November 26 in Atlantic City
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is proposing to transfer $20 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to repair and replace infrastructure and public facilities in Atlantic City that sustained damage due to Superstorm Sandy.
The projects identified for funding through the new Atlantic City Resilience Program include the repair, replacement, or introduction of bulkheads, as well as flood mitigation efforts such as floodproofing Atlantic City’s City Hall and other public buildings and inspecting and replacing check valves in drainage areas. DCA would use the funds allocated to this program to complete as many of the projects as possible based on priority and feasibility.
“Though we have made great strides in recovering from Superstorm Sandy, there is still much to be done when it comes to rebuilding Atlantic City’s infrastructure,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “With the proposal announced today, we aim to bolster Atlantic City – a city that captures the great economic potential of our state – to minimize damage in future storms, and to protect the community for generations to come. As climate change turns previously once-in-a-lifetime catastrophes like Superstorm Sandy into more frequent occurrences, it is clear that we cannot wait to respond to these disasters after the fact, and that our efforts must continue.”
“By allocating $20 million in Sandy recovery funds for these projects, we are protecting a more than $100 million investment we’ve already made in Atlantic City in restoring homes and rebuilding small businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who is DCA Commissioner. “Also, in the longer-term, these projects will help guard against repetitive flooding and fortify Atlantic City to attract future investment.”
The administration of the Atlantic City Resilience Program would be a joint effort between DCA and Atlantic City. DCA would work closely with City officials to ensure the projects are completed by the end of 2022. The proposed funding transfer would not affect any existing CDBG-DR funding commitment to any individual, business, community, or project.
Under the proposal, DCA would also create a special purpose revolving loan fund for the purpose of supporting existing CDBG-DR programs, as well as other ongoing and future storm mitigation efforts in communities statewide. The Department is also proposing to change the threshold amount from $1 million to $10 million that would necessitate a substantial amendment to the New Jersey Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan (Action Plan).
Before DCA can reallocate the CDBG-DR funds, it must amend the Action Plan to reflect the proposed changes. The Action Plan and all previously adopted amendments to the Action Plan guide the State’s use of CDBG-DR funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The current proposed reallocation of funds constitutes Amendment 35 of the Action Plan and requires a 30-day public comment period that must include a public hearing.
The public comment period for Amendment 35 began November 18, 2019 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on December 18, 2019.
The public hearing for the proposed amendment is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, in the Fannie Lou Hamer Event Room at Stockton University Atlantic City’s Academic Center, 3711 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.
Individuals are encouraged to comment on the proposed amendment at the public hearing, by submitting their comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing comments to the attention of Lisa Ryan, Sandy Recovery Division, NJ Department of Community Affairs, 101 South Broad Street, P.O. Box 823, Trenton, NJ 08625. All comments are given equal weight regardless of the means of submission. After the public comment period closes, DCA will formally respond to the public comments and then will submit the proposed amendment to HUD for review and approval.
Action Plan Amendment 35 can be viewed in English and Spanish at www.renewjerseystronger.org/plans-reports. The proposed amendment includes summaries of all the projects in the Atlantic City Resilience Program.