Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, today announced the award of $295,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to the Borough of Keansburg, Monmouth County, to put into effect comprehensive long-range plans designed to enable the Borough to become more resilient in the event of future significant weather events.

These grants are the second Post-Sandy Planning Assistance funds that Keansburg has received. The Borough was awarded its first planning grant in October 2013, and used the $30,000 grant to complete a Strategic Recovery Planning Report, which serves as the Borough’s comprehensive guide for planning initiatives it takes moving forward to recover from Sandy and to reduce its vulnerability to future disasters. The second round of planning grants now enables Keansburg to proceed with planning initiatives based on the strategies detailed in its Strategic Recovery Planning Report.

“As New Jersey continues to recover from Sandy, the planning that Keansburg is undertaking will identify opportunities to build local resilience and promote growth that is sustainable even in hazardous conditions such as those experienced during and after the storm,” said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the State. “We applaud the Borough for pursuing these worthwhile projects.”

The Borough’s Strategic Recovery Planning Report evaluated the impact of Superstorm Sandy on Keansburg’s residents, businesses, infrastructure, public safety and open space/recreation sectors. That information is useful in informing economic recovery initiatives, enhancing public safety and identifying other steps to make the borough better able to withstand potential significant storms in the future.

The seven planning projects that are being funded in Keansburg will:

·         Develop a Permit Application and Process Quality Improvement Plan to increase the efficiency and quality of the Borough’s permit and application process by going through a detailed review of its workflow and automating the process.

·         Prepare a Capital Improvement Plan to focus municipal capital investments on public facilities, vehicle fleets and equipment to build community resiliency in plants and equipment such as raising generators above flood hazard elevations and developing contingency plans for municipal equipment and facilities.

·         Develop a Geographic Information System to enable the Borough to better prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

·         Conduct a Master Plan Reexamination to address post-Sandy strategies and policies related to hazard mitigation and community resiliency with up-to-date mapping of current land uses; new FEMA floodplain and wetland mapping; critical community facilities; and important natural resources areas.

·         Prepare a Floodplain Management Plan to identify and assess flood hazards, establish the goals and objectives for floodplain management, and present a series of actions designed to minimize flooding and mitigate the impacts from flooding in the future. 

·         Conduct a Police Headquarters Relocation and Redevelopment Plan to identify a more resilient and less flood-prone site for the Borough’s police facility and prepare a redevelopment plan for the re-use of the existing site in accordance with the requirements of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.

·         Prepare a Route 36 to Bayfront Corridor Plan for the revitalization and redesign of the Route 36 commercial corridor in the borough. The plan will be designed to more effectively link the Route 36 corridor to the Bayfront through the revitalization and upgrade of the Main Street, Church Street, Cedar Avenue and Beachway Avenue corridors. The plan also will incorporate the Borough’s post-Sandy strategies and policies related to hazard mitigation and community resiliency and will support the economic revitalization and comprehensive planning objectives of the Borough.

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant -- Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grants are currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report as described above. To date, the DCA has approved 46 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report. For example, Phase 2 planning grants can help local governments fund initiatives to determine infrastructure needs to protect business districts on the waterfront from future storms; design standards to protect and increase resiliency in storm-affected neighborhoods; conduct topographic surveys and preliminary engineering studies to gauge future infrastructure needs; and develop capital improvement plans that prioritize need based on the safety of residents.

The DCA has so far approved $6.2 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including the award of Phase 2 grants to 20 local governments. Applications for grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/pspag.html.