Senator announces legislation to help avert skyrocketing flood insurance rates Calling it a celebration of everyone working together to restore the community, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Matt Doherty for the ribbon cutting of the new boardwalk just days before Memorial Day weekend. “This is more than a ribbon cutting,” said Senator Menendez. “It’s a celebration of all of us working together to rebuild and restore what we had and what we love as a community.
Belmar is back and open for another summer.” Governor Christie took the opportunity to acknowledge Senator Menendez’s intrepid work in the United States Congress to secure federal Sandy relief. “He was truly the point man for getting aid back to New Jersey,” said Governor Christie. “I can tell you today, that we would not have gotten the aid that we have gotten and the help that we deserved if it wasn’t for the persistent, strong leadership of Bob Menendez.” Senator Menendez thanked the Governor for his leadership during one of the most difficult times the state ever had. “We needed to have a great working relationship with the State of New Jersey in order to put our collective interests forward and we had a great relationship with Governor Christie in speaking up for the people of New Jersey,” Senator Menendez said. The Senator also extended his thanks to Mayor Doherty.
“Mayor Doherty’s leadership, his girt, his determination, and his commitment to get the job done on behalf of the people of Belmar is outstanding,” the Senator said. “Mayor, you have our thanks and our appreciation.” The crowd that had gathered on the beach and Ocean Avenue applauded Senator Menendez when he expressed his condolences to those affected by the deadly tornado that struck Oklahoma this week, saying, “As I said when I was debating on the Senate floor about Sandy recovery, reminding my colleagues, that there is a reason we call this country the United States of America, and we are unite now in our challenges for the people of Oklahoma.” • Nearly $400 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants approved to help individuals and families recover. • More than $341 million in housing assistance. • More than $54 million for additional needs. • $764 million in Small Business Administration disaster loans to homeowners, renters, business owners. • $314 million in FEMA Public Assistance grants – including $4 million to Belmar – to help communities meet debris removal costs. • In Monmouth County, four contracts have been awarded for four sand replacement projects from Sea Bright to Manasquan.
Senator Menendez announced that today he would introduce legislation that would slow the phase-out of federal subsidies of National Flood Insurance Program premiums. The Senator’s bill would reduce the cut in subsides from up to 25 percent a year for four years to 5 percent a year for the first five years. “I do not believe that after having faced a hurricane, and then the loss of a home, and then having to rebuild it, that people should have to face skyrocketing flood insurance rates that ultimately put them in a position that they cannot keep their home,” he said. “We need to do better than that.” While the Senator said he was proud to have moved “mountains of red tape” to get federal Sandy relief from Washington, the credit for achieving today’s milestone belonged to the people of Belmar. “It’s the people of Belmar who have pulled together as a community and helped themselves to get back on their feet again and that’s a testament to this community and every person who calls it home.”