The township authorized a temporary budget until a budget is adopted for 2013, which the Committee is anticipating to be a “challenging” year due to unexpected expenses incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
“This is my third year on the Committee and it looks like we’re about to face some of our toughest challenges,” Committeeman Sean Sharkey said at the township’s annual reorganization meeting on Tuesday. “The past two months have brought us enormous amount of change.”
The temporary budget is $6,479,000 and will cover the first quarter of 2013 until a new budget is adopted, Township Administrator Veronica Laureigh.
“2013 will be a challenging year,” Mayor David Most said. “Hurricane Sandy devastated Ocean County. The property damage was unimaginable and it’s going to affect our rateables in this town.”
Building up to FEMA codes and elevation requirements will be paramount to protect Lacey residents from projected escalating flood insurance rates, Most said.
“We would like to restore our town back to normal,” Most said. “It’s going to be a lot of work between our beaches and parks.”
While the township waits to find out when or if it will receive FEMA funds, the Committee is also considering repairing the Forked River Beach and “tackling the issue of leadership” in the police department,” Sharkey said.
of $1 million for Hurricane Sandy related expenses.
“We have a very long, very tough road ahead of us,” Sharkey said. “We’re going to do whatever’s right for Lacey Township.”
The Committee members continue to explore its options to replace Chief of Police William Nally, who retired on Monday, Committeeman Gary Quinn said.
“One of the difficult things we have to face right now is the restructuring of our police department and we’re going to move forward with that,” he said. “We’re all working on different things to take and investigate how e want to do what’s best for the residents of Lacey.”
The township will also continue to pursue the prospect of future energy, such as solar projects, Most said, as well as looking to install the prescription drop box sometime in January.
“We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve and fight all the problems we have in a small community,” Most said.