New York State Announces Major Investment in Post-Sandy Community Planning and Implementation
February 20th, 2014 by Chris Sturm
New Jersey Municipalities Have Access to Far Fewer Resources
The State of New York recently released its sixth Sandy Action Plan Amendment that describes how it will spend the nearly $2.1 billion second round of federal CDBG-DR funding. In earlier amendments, the state dedicated $32 million to allow 124 communities affected by Sandy and other recent hurricanes to engage in comprehensive planning for a more resilient future through the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program. The communities received technical assistance tools, including maps showing areas that would become vulnerable to storm damage through the coming century as sea level rises, as well as professional planning consultant services and a planning framework within which to develop reconstruction plans. New York’s most recent Action Plan Amendment dedicates over $650 million for implementation of resiliency projects in the reconstruction plans.
New Jersey released its equivalent draft action plan on Feb. 3. This Amendment allocates an additional $5 to $10 million to New Jersey’s Post Sandy Planning Grant Program for municipalities and counties, adding to the original $5 million allocation. (The actual amount will depend on whether the state diverts the full $5 million allowed by the amendment for other state and regional planning activities.) New Jersey’s planning grant program fails to provide municipalities with either the resources or the guidance necessary for them to assess future risks from sea level rise. New Jersey’s Action Plans and proposed amendment dedicate no funds for implementing municipal plans.
New York communities are fortunate that their state has taken a leadership role in ensuring that they plan for a safer future and has given them resources to implement those plans. New Jersey communities are, by comparison, “on their own” when it comes to rebuilding. New Jersey Future is grateful, though, for philanthropic support from the New Jersey Recovery Fund and the Merck Foundation, which has allowed us to provide Local Recovery Planning Managers for seven communities.
Those interested in commenting on the New Jersey plan may either attend the third public hearing, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21, at 4:00 pm at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, or submit written comments via email (sandypubliccommentdcastatenjus) . Those planning to speak at the public hearing must register online in advance. Written comments must be submitted by March 5. Download the informational flyer for full details on how to comment on the plan.