The state's announcement that Belmar had received $4.062 million to reimburse the borough for Hurricane Sandy debris removal made for a happy evening in borough hall Wednesday.
But Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said the borough is hopeful the 75-percent reimbursement figure will grow if FEMA agrees to fully reimburse projects, or even reimburse 90 percent of the costs.
"We got 75 percent, but we are trying for more," said Doherty.
Doherty said Gov. Chris Christie and local officials continue to push for a higher reimbursement and the issue is still not decided, but still hopeful.
Belmar will receive $4,062,468 for emergency debris removal to clear roadways for emergency vehicles in the aftermath of Sandy.
The total cost of the shore town's public assistance project was $5.4 million.
Approximately $3 million was not for roadways but for clearing the beachfront of the destroyed boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy. A rebuild project is currently underway.
While the release of funds is welcome, Doherty pointed out it only partially covers a portion of the debris removal. Reimbursements for other repairs, such as a bonded project for a damaged water main and the massive boardwalk rebuild, are not included in the figure.
So far, Belmar had planned to spend $17 million to rebuild its boardwalk but the project's lowest bidder, Epic Construction, was contracted at $6.559 million. Other projects awaiting reimbursement include the repairs to the water main, now funded through a $2 million bond ordinance.
Along with Belmar's $4.062 million reimbursement this week was $3.5 million to the state Office of Emergency Management and $1.5 million to Marlboro for Hurricane Sandy efforts.