Margate more than doubles emergency appropriation

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MARGATE – The city has more than doubled its original emergency appropriation more than a month after Hurricane Sandy.

At the City Commission work session meeting Thursday, Dec. 6 business administrator Richard Deaney recommended that the commissioners increase the appropriation and cancel the $1.35 million allotment for emergency spending approved Nov. 8.

The total is now $3.75 million.

The money is needed to fund a half-dozen contracts with local vendors to repair damage to the municipality. Deaney said the most extensive contracts were to remove debris from the streets and return sand to the beach.

He said there are eight different contracts now resulting from the emergency for damage sustained by buildings and bulkheads. Deaney recommended the commission rescind its previous measure and cancel emergency contracts as of Dec. 7. He said the action was suggested by the auditor and special legal counsel.

“The emergency, as far as we’re concerned as local government, is terminated as of tonight. None of the contracts are going to continue tomorrow as far as emergency contracts,” Deaney said.  We will find funding sources in a more usual way rather than an emergent way.”

First, Deaney said, the 2013 capital ordinance can include the cost of bulkheads. Long-term bonds can be used to fund those expenditures, he said.

Secondly, the city will repay its emergency debt through proceeds from insurance carriers for damage to buildings and vehicles.

“Thirdly, all the money we receive from FEMA, all of it in 2013, we anticipate at 75 percent of FEMA damages will be returned against this emergency,” Deaney said.

Gov. Chris Christie has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency increase its portion of emergency expenses to municipalities in New Jersey.

Deaney anticipates that after all the reimbursements, Margate will be responsible for funding approximately $500,000 and will have five years to pay it off. That would leave the city raising approximately $100,000 to cover the emergency in its 2013 budget.

“The largest amount that we would anticipate in next year’s budget is one-fifth of $3,750,000; $500,000. But we will not have to appropriate that much after we have paid down with the proceeds from FEMA, insurance or capital ordinances,” he said.

“If all happens the way we expect it, it will not affect our fund balance for 2013.”

The commissioners approved a resolution amending emergency contracts and a measure rescinding the city’s previous emergency notes and replaced it with $3.75 million appropriation as recommended by Deaney. 

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