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Funds Allocated For Sandy Recovery In Tri-State Area 'Not Going To Be Enough,' Christie Says

Governor took no questions at event held in Stafford Township firehouse

by Patricia A. Miller

The $37 billion in federal funds allocated for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are not enough to cover the cost of recovery, Gov. Chris Christie said today.

"We asked for a lot more than we got," Christie said at an appearance at the Stafford Volunteer Company firehouse in Manahawkin late this morning.

So far $37 billlion was set aside for Sandy recovery in the tri-state area, the governor said.

"None of us need to be a math wizard to figure out it's not going to be enough money to cover everything," Christie said.

The governor made several oblique references to the "Bridgegate" scandal, noting the large phalanx of photographers and reporters present at the firehouse event.

"There are all kinds of challenges, as you know, that come everyday to test you," he said.

He introduced a woman identified only as "Amy," a Sandy victim whose home was destroyed in the storm. She spoke in a trembling voice.

"I've been so blessed," she said. "I could not be where I arm today without the help I received to get back home. It's just such an honor to be here with the governor."

Christie told the crowd of about 300 his office and the members of the state Department of Community Affairs devote 50 percent of their time each day to Sandy recovery.

The state was able to funnel some of Sandy business recovery funds into the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) and Homeowner's Resettlement Program, the governor said.

State officials and the state Department of Community Affairs have focused first on getting money to low and middle-income residents, he said.

"We help people who need help the most, then move on down the line," Christie said.

The governor said he understands residents' impatience with receiving funding to repair or elevate their homes.

"Is it as fast as I'd like?" he said. "No. "

There were many funding abuses after Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 and more proof of need is now required," Christie said.

"We need proof of income, assets...," he said. "Every time we ask for more paperwork, it's more time. I get that."

Christie was accompanied by DCA director Richard J. Constable III, Stafford Mayor John Spodofora, Township Administrator James Moran and several members of the Township Council.

The governor stuck to his predication made after the October 29, 2012 that recovery would take at least two years.

"Recovery from Sandy is going to take a long time," Christie said. "At least two years before most people in the state. Things don't happen overnight.  We've never done this before."

Roughly 340,000 homes in New Jersey were significantly damaged or destroyed by Sandy and shore businesses were hurt, he said.

"I can tell you I was thinking we are not to have any summer (2013)," he said. "I was scared to deal with the devastation...what that would do to the shore."

Christie pledged to keep pushing for more funding and continuing recovery efforts.

"We won't rest until every Sandy-impacted homeowner or renter is back in their homes," he said.

The governor took no questions and left the event quickly after it was over.











 

Sean Conneamhe January 16, 2014 at 10:39 PM
"The bigger they are, the harder they fall..."
Rick Ricky January 16, 2014 at 10:50 PM
How much more did Christie spend on the special election because he was to pompous to share the same election day? How much more money did he pay for the most annoying commercial ever? I had to turn it off because it made me nauseous. He could have used all that money for Sandy victims. He is a phony baloney on everything he does. Where is all the money his wife has in the Sandy Relief funds? How come she is so very slow to hand the money out? Is it that they are using the interest for their own special needs. This governor has not saved any NJ tax payers one red cent. If anything he has cost us money with all his deals with his sneaky supporter friends. He is just as if not more corrupted than any other governor of this state. They wonder why people are leaving NJ? The only ones who can afford to stay is all the dirty politicians and dirty public workers who support the dirty politicians. Even they trying to flee the state before they get busted for their dirty dealings.
Rick Ricky January 16, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Now that Bridgegate came out. I can't help to wonder what other corruption is going to come out? What ever happened to his over price buddies for all the garbage pick up after Sandy. How much did that cost all the rest of the tax payers. People that don't even live in the beach area. Sorry, but if you choose to live on or near a beach area it should be your chance. Not all the other residents who chose not to. Why should people that choose not to live by the beach pay for people that did? If that is the case we should have bought a house on the beach because we are paying either way regardless where we live. Christie can you please get on that. That's right, you can't. They are all your friends who live on or close to the beach. Why don't you sell the beach house that the state owns? Why should the state own a beach house so the governor and their family can stay at the shore. NJ is ridiculous.

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