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New Milford to Receive $1.2 Million From FEMA for Voluntary Home Buyouts from Damage During Hurricane Irene

FEMA will provide more than $21 million through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for flood mitigation projects throughout New Jersey.

Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced Tuesday that FEMA has made earmarked more than $21 million in grant money for flood mitigation projects in New Jersey. 

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding for the voluntary buyouts or elevations of homes that have suffered severe flood damage due to Irene and other storms.

This federal grant will be supported by a $7 million match from state and local governments, bringing the total to more than $28 million to directly assist New Jersey families in the state’s hardest hit communities.

Lautenberg, Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds this FEMA grant program said in a statement, “As we work on long-term flood solutions, these federal funds will prevent damage to the most flood-prone residents and create needed open space. We will continue to fight for federal funds for disaster relief programs to help protect New Jerseyans from future floods.”

FEMA will provide $1.2 million for voluntary home buyouts in New Milford and $1.5 million in Westwood. 

In a statement released Tuesday, Menendez said, “This funding will help ensure that New Jersey homeowners who are vulnerable to floods have the tools they need to prepare for future disasters."

"It’s not only cost effective to prepare for floods on the front end, rather than do damage control after, but it can save lives and preventable hardships. I’ll continue to work to secure funding to protect New Jersey’s flood-prone homes.”

tony mac February 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Have to disagree. 1. Homes should never have been built along streams, rivers, bays, oceans, or on sand. 2. Realtors must, by law, advise potential home buyers that the property they seek to purchase may, or has, flooded in the past. 3. Potential home buyers should research the property history they seek to purchase. 4. Politicos pass such legislation to appease people who suffer from natures fury such as flooding. 5. They must obtain flood insurance when seeking a mortgage prior to closing on the home. We, people who are not in such flood prone areas, must pay the consequences. Why? Let's say 1.2 million buys out 5 homes. Those 5 homes had a tax rate of, let's say $10,000. each. That equals $50,000 lost revenue for the Boro. Who makes up the difference. Now multiply that by maybe 50 homes that flood. Who makes up that lost money? I remember all the flooded areas be swamps and natural flood plains in the 50's. Now, I continue to pay for others mistakes and dreams that flooding may never occur again. Mr. Spock said it best: "The need's of the many outweigh those of the few".
LMA February 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I agree 10,000% with every word that Tony Mac has written. As much as I feel sorry for the people who purchased homes in the flood area, let's make one thing perfectly clear....no one forced them to buy their homes in the flood zone. It is not fair that the rest of the hard-working people via their tax dollars have to buy out these homes in addition to making up for the lost tax revenue. Where is it written in the law that we must make up for the stupid and poor choices of others?
STRESSED March 01, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Do either of you know what a 100 year flood is apparently not with your comments. Get your facts straight before you call these people stupid. You both are totally heartless human being.
Ulises March 01, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I agree with you about developing in flood zones but you've just contradicted yourself (see below) since you're in favor of the UW development (which is in the same flood zone) for Ratables - the very same reasons these neighborhoods went up over fifty years ago... The UW development, being north of these prone neighborhoods, will exacerbate the flooding situation and more Ratables will be lost in the future because of this development, which you favor... tony mac 10:52 am on Saturday, January 28, 2012 Face it, ladies and gentlemen. Just like the denial by the Planning Board a few weeks ago the lawyers immediately, in the Boro Hall Lobby, advised the applicants that they can appeal and probably win. It is imminent that they will build there, it's a matter of what and how high. as one gentlemen just wrote he has lived in theirs town 40 years. I live her for 60 and remember woods from behind the High School all the way to Old New Bridge Road. I remember the flooding way back then so the argument that the water company doesn't know what they are doing also holds no credence. Face it. It will be a losing battle. So, at least agree to build something that will benefit some of us. Ratables!
tony mac March 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
sorry to again disagree. That area being developed couldn't really impact any additional flooding problems. The area is so small. 13 acres?, how much could this possibly heighten water levels with a 50, 100, 500 year storm? 1/1000 th of an inch? If even that much!
Ulises March 01, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Again, you are against these existing neighborhoods along the river but are for the development of UW property, along the river. Plus, now you claim to know what the environmental impact will be to the town for this new development, along the river. Thank you, for clarifying things so well.
Arlene M. Baladi March 01, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Is anyone going to condemn these properties after they are bought out?
Ulises March 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
The M & C decides which homes get purchased and then they knocked them down.
james March 01, 2012 at 06:29 PM
My impression is that Tony Mac is saying that if one developes or buys into that area the rest of the taxpayers shouldn't be bailing them out for choosing a flood zone. That goes for the private homeowners as well as the developers. Correct me if I am wrong Tony.
tony mac March 01, 2012 at 07:45 PM
My arguement is this: let's say money is appropriated to buy out 10 homes. We, as remaining taxpayers in this fine town have to make up the difference in revenue in order to allow the town to remain as a functioning, viable town, without major cut in services: police, DPW, administrative staff, etc. with continued buy outs, after initial purchases, will only increase our tax rate. Is this fair to those of us who wish to remain here? It was a monumental mistake to build in the flood plain in the first place. But, again, and I mean this sincerely, people who suffer through flooding problems are unfortunate. But to buy them out, knowing that they bought there and will eventually flood, then reward them at our expense is beyond my comprehension. By the way, Uli, knowing people who work in engineering fields have told me that any additional "flooding" , should Madison Ave. be developed, would not even be recognizable. It is their opinion, not mine.
Denise March 01, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Doe's anyone remember the homes along the river north of NMHS football field that were occuppied by employees of United Water? Gee...I wonder why they are all gone now...Perhaps they floated downstream during one of the many floods......
Ulises March 01, 2012 at 08:58 PM
There are residence in these flood zones that did not even sign up to be brought out, besides $1.2M is only going to buy 4 homes, if that. According to your argument residence in these neighborhoods should pay more in taxes on top of the $2-3k they pay in flood insurance? Heck, let's bring back the Jim Crow laws for flood residence while we are at it too. At the end of the day it's our politicians that allow these developments in flood zones, for ratables, which is your argument too. The UW property has been elevated so the water funnels to the river quicker, yet this property is fine to build on even though it is in a flood zone????. Did you engineer friend work for Boswell because they represent UW's interest? Do you not care about the over crowding this development will bring to the town or the traffic it's going to generate? Let's think of ways to generate revenue without developing in a flood zone. I did already, and I hope the M&C run with my idea... Here it is incase you're interested; http://www.projectgraphics.com/light-pole-banner-sponsorship-guide.php
tony mac March 01, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Uli, This all makes for good discussion. what strikes me as truly distasteful is the fact not too many people in this town appear to be interested in this issue! by the way I knew a few people who lived in the houses at the end of Madison. they were told to move out because they were in need of dire repair and not worth maintaining.
Denise March 01, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I also knew people living there..they were members of the church I attend. What I don't understand.....UW owned these homes, even back then....they were in pretty poor shape & UW KNEW they were in a FLOOD ZONE.....
Nancy March 02, 2012 at 12:58 PM
We did our homework before we build our home on columbia st back in the late 70's, went to the town, asked what it meant by the "100 yr flood", and told it meant exactly that, floods every 100 yrs, nothing to worry about, spoke with Ms. Florence McDermott that lived across the st., born and raised there, she was in her 80's, told the same thing, no floods, and after 19 yrs living here in peace and dry land, 1999 came. of course no flood insurance for us, we didnt need it according to those that knew, so before you criticize know your facts. we love our home, we love our neigbors, but we were ill informed and according to some of you its our fault. Who in their right mind would put their life savings in a home that one day will probably be worth nothing. Explain!
JD March 03, 2012 at 12:30 PM
On a related problem that affects the flooding situation, I have heard that the Hackensack River by New Milford is much swallower than it was 40-50 years ago due to the silt buildup, and at one time dredging the river was considered by the Army Corps of Engineers, but deemed too expensive. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks.
Ulises March 05, 2012 at 01:17 AM
JD, I don't know but dredging would help. During low tide you can really see what's at the bottom; such as huge fallen trees, limbs, construction lumber and I've witnessed, in certain areas, over two feet of silt build up in the last five years - this doesn't help the flood prone neighborhoods. Although, during high tide it can be beautiful at times; lots of fishing, bird watching, but beware of the huge snapping turtles if you fall in.... Here's a video of the river my neighbor took a few years ago; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exjdx5sIzjA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
lynden day March 05, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Just a thought If you live in the past you have no future but if you learn from the past you can create a better future
lynden day March 05, 2012 at 01:30 AM
JUST A THOUGHT IF YOU LIVE IN THE PAST YOU HAVE NO FUTURE IF YOU LEARN FROM THE PAST YOU CAN CREATE A BETTER FUTURE
Ulises March 05, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Some see things as they are and ask why, when we should dream things that never were and say why not?

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