Follow Us:

More Issues

  • Article
  • Comments

Poll: Does Seaside Fire Qualify as Sandy-Related Damage?

Another disaster befalls hurricane-hammered Jersey Shore, but should funds earmarked for Sandy be used to rebuild?

At the request of Gov. Chris Christie, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority voted yesterday to allow businesses owners affected by last Thursday’s fire on the boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights to receive a portion of the federal Sandy aid money allocated to New Jersey. Some $5 million from the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery’s Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) Program will be used for post-fire demolition and debris removal, as well as mitigation efforts and rebuilding of public infrastructure. Another $10 million will be allocated for grants and forgivable loans.

"It was critical that we move quickly to aid the Seaside business community, which was still struggling to recover from superstorm Sandy," said NJEDA head Michele Brown, in a statement over the weekend. "Extending aid from existing CDBG funding is the most efficient, practical way to get help to the community, which has been dealt a second, terrible blow."

But the move has drawn some criticism from Americans for Prosperity and several housing advocacy groups, which said Sandy aid money shouldn’t be used for needs not directly related to the storm, especially while many storm victims remain on waiting lists for government assistance.

Do you think Sandy aid should be diverted to rebuild the Seaside Heights boardwalk a second time?

  • Yes. The boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park is the most iconic part of the Jersey Shore. Even if some of the businesses that would benefit weren’t directly hurt by Sandy, the whole area is still suffering from the storm. They need all the help they can get.

  • Yes. The fire appears to have been caused by electrical wiring damaged during Sandy. Why wouldn’t we use whatever money is available to help these people?

  • No. There’s a limited amount of Sandy aid money, and there’s still an enormous need up and down the coast. Average people are still waiting for money to rebuild their lives. While I feel bad for the people in Seaside, the money was intended for the storm recovery, and last week’s fire is not directly related.

  • No. Where does it stop? If my house catches fire, can I get Sandy money to rebuild? The state shouldn’t use Sandy funding as if it's a big cookie-jar that can be raided when a problem occurs.

  • Unsure. The destruction wrought by Sandy and now this fire present perfect opportunities to return to the drawing board and rethink things from scratch. Everyone’s talking about restoring the boardwalk to its former glory, but perhaps we should take a step back and question whether rebuilding so close to the water’s edge is even a good idea.

Read more in Polling, Sandy
Corporate Supporters
Most Popular Stories