Posts Tagged ‘OGCMA issues press release about FEMA denial’

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PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CMA   (Ocean Grove, NJ – February 8, 2013) :

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) applied for FEMA Public Assistance to enable the repair of damages and restore the boardwalk and beachfront.

OGCMA provided FEMA with relevant information regarding the role the boardwalk plays as an emergency facility that supports Ocean Grove’s ability to protect the health and safety of its community and visitors.  As the only access point to the beachfront, the boardwalk has been relied upon to act as the systematic lifeline of Ocean Grove.

On February 6, OGCMA was informed that although the organization is eligible for FEMA assistance as a non-profit, the boardwalk facility is ineligible because FEMA considers it a recreational facility.  As per FEMA policy, recreational facilities owned by non-profits are not eligible to receive FEMA Public Assistance. OGCMA officials expressed disappointment in the initial decision by FEMA, particularly since FEMA had provided funding for the beachfront restoration after the 1992 nor’easter.

Despite the determination that the boardwalk is a recreational facility, OGCMA is planning an appeal to FEMA, and also investigating available assistance through other federal and state resources.  Supplemental disaster recovery grant programs are offered through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and US Small Business Administration.

OGCMA President, Dr. Dale C. Whilden stated: “The OGCMA remains focused upon the restoration of its boardwalk and beachfront in a timely manner.  As the only access point to a beachfront which hosts over a quarter of a million visitors annually, the boardwalk is vital to the assurance of public safety. Ocean Grove’s responsibility to protect the general public matches that of every other shore community in New Jersey.  We are currently planning an appeal to FEMA regarding the determination, and are committed to finding ways to expedite the recovery process.”

OGCMA is focused on meeting all recovery needs within the community and continues to work for the beachfront to be open and functional on Memorial Day of this year (details regarding this process are covered in OGCMA’s January 11, 2013 update).  In spite of FEMA’s determination, OCGMA is on track to implement a comprehensive beach and boardwalk restoration plan once funding is procured.

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