Christie Executive Order Requires Towns to Apply for FEMA Loans
Pertains to towns impacted by Hurricane Sandy
Adding an executive order to an already aggressive push to secure federal aid for Hurricane-Sandy ravaged New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie on Friday ordered any town, school or government agency impacted by the storm to apply for FEMA loans.
“While my Administration and FEMA have each worked aggressively to make communities aware of the availability of Community Disaster Loans, I am unwilling to leave it to chance that every eligible town or school district will apply for this relief," said the governor in a prepared release.
Most towns in the Manasquan-Belmar area have already submitted applications for various types of aid and are in the multi-step process of having aid granted. Manasquan, for example, has submitted more than $3.8 million application of a category of aid but is awaiting paperwork on its application, said Manasquan Business Administrator Joseph DeIorio.
Christie's executive order however is requiring eligible governments to try for a loan program, the Community Disaster Loan Program, administered by FEMA. The loans offer five year terms and under certain situations are forgiven.
However, the purpose behind Executive Order No. 128 was to take "action to ensure that hard-hit local governments avail themselves and their residents of every avenue of disaster relief available to them for recovery and rebuilding," according to a statement from the governor's office.
The CDLP is geared to municipalities who would see a tax impact from the natural disaster. Most towns damaged by Hurricane Sandy are seeing a tax impact in the form of lost ratables, property assessment and other tax revenue.
The loans are not to exceed 25 percent of the local government’s annual operating budget for 2012—the fiscal year in which the major disaster occurs— and that amount is up to a maximum of $5 million.
More information released Friday from the governor's office on the executive order:
The order requires every local governmental entity in the state that can meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a FEMA Community Disaster Loan. The order also empowers the Division of Local Government Services within the Department of Community Affairs and the Commissioner of Education the authority to implement the Community Disaster Loan Program in New Jersey and to require application to the program be made by local governments. Every municipality, county, school district, fire district, local authority and every other local governmental entities in New Jersey is subject to this order.
“I take it as an obligation to our storm-impacted residents to ensure that every avenue of relief is pursued to assist in the recovery and rebuilding of our communities,” said Governor Christie. “While my Administration and FEMA have each worked aggressively to make communities aware of the availability of Community Disaster Loans, I am unwilling to leave it to chance that every eligible town or school district will apply for this relief. Today, I am taking action to empower our Division of Local Government Services and Department of Education to determine local governments’ eligibility and mandate an application to be made for aid under this program, as well as the potential aid under our CDBG Action Plan that may be tied to participation in this program.”
The CDLP, administered by FEMA, offers 5-year loans to governments impacted by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. With authorization, FEMA can extend the term up to an additional five years based on the recipient’s financial condition or, when a recipient has met relevant statutory and regulatory criteria, all of parts of a loan may be forgiven by FEMA.