The Christie Administration has made $3 million in grant money available to municipalities in the Passaic River basin to fund projects that would remove debris from the Passaic and its many tributaries to reduce flooding.
The money comes from a bond act Gov. Chris Christie originally signed in 2003 to fund flood control projects. The governor re-appropriated the funds in August.
Kinnelon, Bloomingdale, and surrounding municipalities have suffered severe damage in the past few years, especially during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011. Irene caused the worse flooding in a century.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is administering the grants.
“We know there is no way to stop flooding in the river basin, but steps like this… are critical to alleviating flooding impacts to this repetitively-flooded area,” said Bob Martin, DEP commissioner.
Christie created a committee that wrote a 15-point plan on how to address flooding in the basin. It recommended that regular maintenance, including dredging and removing debris, be performed so water flow can improve. Wayne has removed debris from local waterways since Irene.
A draft of a $2.4 million study outlining the benefits of certain projects to alleviate flooding in the basin should be complete by the end of the year.
The DEP will award grants based on the chance a proposed project has to alleviate flooding and if the municipality is able to match the grant amount; 116 municipalities in the basin are eligible for grants.
Towns must submit letters of interest to the DEP by Nov. 30.