FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 28, 2014

Christie Administration Announces Post-Sandy Planning Grant to South Toms River Borough, Ocean County

Grant Will Help Sandy-Impacted Local Government with Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Planning

Trenton, NJ – In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of a $30,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to South Toms River Borough in Ocean County to develop long-range plans to become resilient in the event of future severe weather events.

"Like many hard hit communities that lost residential and commercial properties to the storm, South Toms River is facing significant challenges that were either created or exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy," said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state. "This grant will help the Borough identify ways to better protect itself from future storms and find solutions to the very specific issues it is facing."

South Toms River can use the grant to hire licensed professional planners to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and identify long-term strategies for resiliency and flood protection in the future. The Strategic Recovery Planning Report should focus on planning goals, strategies, and priorities that lead to actions that are most urgently needed for public safety and economic recovery.

In its application, Borough officials said South Toms River suffered losses to waterfront homes and business, including several marinas along Atlantic City Boulevard due to the October 2012 storm. They stated that the Borough’s Master Plan never anticipated the severity of a recovery from a storm like Sandy, which is why the town’s land uses and zoning districts need to be revisited to incorporate hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million initially allocated to the program is currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report as described above. To date, the DCA has awarded 44 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report. For example, Phase 2 planning grants can help local governments fund initiatives to determine infrastructure needs to protect business districts on the waterfront from future storms; design standards to protect and increase resiliency in storm-affected neighborhoods; topographic surveys and preliminary engineering studies to gauge future infrastructure needs; and capital improvement plans that prioritize need based on the safety of residents.

The DCA has so far approved $5 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including the award of Phase 2 grants to 15 local governments. 

Applications for Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to