Homeowners urged to apply for FEMA mitigation funds by Jan. 28

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Brigantine City Manager Jennifer Blumenthal has been focused on finding federal funds to help homeowners recover from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. She and her team have identified another possible source of funding from FEMA that might help.

The city has applied for flood mitigation funds that can be used for pump stations, floodgates and property acquisition. Pump stations have proven effective in the golf course area and one being considered is the lighthouse circle. Floodgates have also proven to be effective. Atlantic County is thought to be considering the use of federal funds to repair the damaged seawall on Brigantine’s north end.

However, there are no guarantees. Blumenthal noted that the New Jersey town of Parsippany saw less than half of its house-elevating requests approved.

“To be considered, you have to send a letter of interest by Monday, Jan. 28 to Brigantine City Engineer Ed Stinson,” said Blumenthal.

This funding source is separate from FEMA’s ICC (Increased Costs of Compliance Coverage) program which allows flood insurance policyholders in high-risk areas to apply for funds up to $30,000 toward the cost of raising a home to get within compliance with the new Flood Plain Plan.

Recently the city received the new advisory plan which has created a firestorm with residents and city authorities. The plan designates a large section of the northern part of the city, particularly the golf course area, in a new “velocity” zone. That would require homeowners to have higher base elevations which would allow waves to pass under the homes. In other words, houses on pilings would replace houses sitting on concrete slabs or split-level homes.

Blumenthal is still encouraging homeowners to contact their lawmakers – Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Sen. Robert Menendez and/or Congressman Frank LoBiondo – regarding the FEMA flood plain maps.

“Part of the process is the appeal,” said Blumenthal in a phone interview. “There is no precedent for anyone fighting the maps, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.”

The advisory plan will be under review in 2013 and will not be finalized until 2014 – a fact that further exacerbates the recovery issues for Brigantine homeowners who want to start the process but need to know the elevations required.

Homeowners should send their letters to Ed Stinson at City Hall listing their name, city address and block number, and contact information no later than Jan. 28.

Stinson can be reached at (609) 266-7800 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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