CRANFORD, NJ — Residents of Cranford are aware of the flooding issues that have plagued the town for decades, and on April 21, an emergency meeting was called to discuss a time-sensitive issue regarding a flood mitigation assistance program.
“The town discussed plans to reach out to homeowners who have experienced flood damage in the past,” said Township Administrator Terence Wall. “There is a tight deadline for the multi fiscal-year program of financial grants. There is no obligation based on interest.”
In 2016, there is $199,000 available to assist states, tribal governments, territories and local communities in their efforts to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program. The Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program was created with the goal of reducing or eliminating claims under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Former Cranford Mayor Daniel J. Aschenbach released a statement regarding the ongoing efforts to address flooding issues since Hurricane Irene. “Following the devastation our township sustained after Hurricane Irene, our local governing body continued efforts to address flooding before it occurred. It has been our view that we need a comprehensive, regional response to flooding, not piecemeal solutions that fail to address the real problems we face as a community. In that regard, the township has made significant investments and worked collaboratively with the Federal Emergency Management Association and the New Jersey Office of Emergency to determine the best short- and long-term interests of Cranford.”
“Cranford was devastated by Hurricane Irene,” said Pete Luscombe, of Westfield.
Applicants are eligible to receive $100,000 for mitigation planning with a maximum of $50,000 for state plans and $25,000 for local plans. The balance of the Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program will be distributed on a competitive basis to all eligible applicants for flood hazard mitigation projects. All applicants for the grant will be reviewed within their FEMA region.
“FEMA is a wonderful, curious organization,” said Wall.
FEMA will review planning and project sub-applications plus one management cost and one technical assistance sub-application submitted by each applicant through the Mitigation electronic Grants system to ensure compliance with the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance, including eligibility of the applicant and sub-applicant, eligibility of proposed activities and costs, completeness of the sub-application, cost effectiveness and engineering feasibility of projects and eligibility and availability of non-federal cost share.
FEMA will select eligible project sub-applications on a competitive basis in order of the agency’s priorities for the FY 2016 FMA Grant Program. The first priority will be projects that mitigate flood damage for at least 50 percent of structures included in the sub-application that meet the definition part of a severe repetitive loss property. A SRL property is a structure that is covered under a contract for flood insurance made available under the National Flood Insurance Program and has incurred flood related damage for which four or more separate claims payments have been made under flood insurance coverage with the amount of each claim exceeding $5,000 and with the cumulative amount of such claims payments exceeding $20,000 or for which at least two separate claims payments have been made under such coverage, with the cumulative amount of such claims exceeding the market value of the insured structure.
Second priority will be given to projects that will mitigate flood damage for at least 50 percent of structures included in the sub-application that meet the definition of a repetitive loss property. A RL property is a structure covered by a contract for flood insurance made available under the National Flood Insurance Program that has incurred flood related damage on two occasions, in which the cost of the repair, on average, equaled or exceeded 25 percent of the market value of the structure at the time of each flood event, and at the time of the second incident the contract for flood insurance contains increased cost of compliance coverage.
Third priority will be given to projects that will mitigate flood damage for at least 50 percent of structures included in the sub-application that meet the definition of an SRL property. Fourth priority will be given to projects that will mitigate flood damage to the largest number of National Flood Insurance Program insured properties at the neighborhood level. FEMA will further prioritize projects in prior categories.