The Committee approved an emergency appropriation of $1 million for Hurricane Sandy related expenses at the Committee meeting on Thursday.
“Based on some of the expenses we have incurred and some of the future expenses we may incur, that we need to go out and borrow $1 million to carry us through until we start seeing some reimbursement from FEMA,” Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.
The emergency appropriation was approved unanimously.
“These are extraordinary circumstances,” Committeeman Sean Sharkey said.
The township will be borrowing $1 million with the interest rate at less than one percent, she said. The township will have to pay back a fifth of the money in each year’s budget for the next five years.
The township will have to pay back $200,000 in next year’s budget, she said.
“Based on what we utilized in overtime, what we utilized in garbage pick up and hiring professional services that we did for our FEMA paperwork, we felt that $1 million would cover what we need,” Laureigh said.
To date, $343,000 was spent on debris management pickup, not including the additional weekend that was recently approved, and approximately $400,000 on overtime. Those costs don’t include the tree contractor, equipment repair costs and other expenses.
On Thursday, the Committee appointed a temporary fence maintenance repairer for the Public Works Department to fix damaged fences on township property. The worker will be paid $30 an hour.
All hurricane-related expenses will be submitted to FEMA, which will then determine what costs are reimbursable, Laureigh said. The township doesn't expect to see any reimbursement until the summer at the earliest.
Funds from the emergency appropriation can only be used for hurricane sandy-related expenses. Leftover money will be canceled, she said.
“It makes me shudder thinking about borrowing $1 million but this is something that we need to do,” Committeewoman Helen DelaCruz said.