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Sandy Costs Add Up for Tri-Boro

Borough officials working to gather cost totals for storm response and submit for reimbursements.

While tri-boro officials are still working to gather totals for just how much Tropical Storm Sandy will cost each municipality, they began to discuss the impact on borough budgets this week.

Butler Council President Edwin Vath, a liaison to the council's Budget Committee, confirmed the storm will have a negative effect on the borough’s budget during Monday’s council meeting. Vath said the impact will be due largely to overtime and equipment costs.

“I have been pleased to report every month that we have a good budget, in terms of revenue and expenses, but this will impact it,” he said.

Vath explained that Borough Administrator James Lampmann has already submitted a preliminary damage report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Hopefully some of our expenses will be covered,” Vath said.

The Borough of Kinnelon is also preparing to submit applications for FEMA reimbursements, but is still in the process of gathering data. Kinnelon Chief Financial Officer Donna Mollineaux told the Kinnelon Council Thursday that police overtime costs, alone, amounted to roughly $37,000.

"Worth every penny," Kinnelon Councilman Andy SanFilippo said.

Kinnelon Mayor Robert Collins said police overtime costs may qualify for FEMA reimbursement as they are considered to be part of emergency funding. If the borough does receive money back, it would typically be about 75 percent of every dollar spent. But Collins said the state would retain a portion of the money.

Additionally, the mayor and FEMA representatives visited several private homes that were damaged and said the borough is claiming more than $1 million in damages as a result of the storm.

Meredith Mascitello November 09, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Why is it government's responsibility to pay for costs associated with a natural occurance? Sometimes things just happen. No wonder this country is broke. We keep expecting the State & Federal government to take care of us. Start being self-reliant. Look after your family, friends & neighbors - personally, not through a government entity. If we continue down this road of constantly holding our hand out to the government, we will completely sacrifice our freedom.
Kevin November 09, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Meredith, I find it strange that you come on this forum and state that we should be taking care of ourselves, yet the Nightmare on Bailey Avenue is funded by the municipality. Maybe that should also be paid for personally, not through a government entity.
Jo November 09, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I believe in self-reliance, and basically have lived my life that way. It's a great theory but, in reality, please tell me: how does the family evacuated out of their flooded home pay the cost of emergency personnel, shelters, food, clothing & subsequent repairs/rebuilding of the town's infrastructure? How does the senior citizen living on social security (over 1/2 of our seniors survive on less than $20,000 a year), evacuated from a complex wiped out in Keyport, get back on her feet? I could go on. I want to hear real solutions, not preaching from a comfortable perch.

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