Reports by NJ Spotlight and NJ Public Radio Help Correct Sandy Funding Foul-Up

NJPR, NJ Spotlight News | July 16, 2014 | Sandy
State’s bungling of aid formula left storm-damaged municipalities without fair share of cash

Flooding in Hoboken following Hurricane Sandy.
The numbers just didn’t add up.

Millions of dollars had been allocated to towns affected by Hurricane Sandy through an energy grant program – but municipalities left relatively unscathed by the superstorm received funding while other towns that sustained substantial flooding damage, including Atlantic City and Belmar, received nothing.

In Hoboken, which had major storm damage, Mayor Dawn Zimmer asserted that her city had been shortchanged by the Christie administration, setting off a political furor.

Turns out state officials were wrong. Zimmer, and officials in other towns that received little or no funding, were right.

And so were reporters for NJ Spotlight and NJ Public Radio. An investigation by the two news partners found the state had botched the funding formula.

Now the state is correcting its mistake. Dozens of municipalities will receive additional Sandy-related funding while others will see their money reduced. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in much-needed aid will now go where it was supposed to go, thanks in large part to NJ Spotlight’s online and NJPR’s on-air reports.

Read and listen to reporter Scott Gurian’s account of the funding fiasco and how it was resolved.