(The Center Square) – The stopgap measure approved last week to avoid a government shutdown includes a provision to forgive at least $30 million in outstanding federal loans for New Jersey towns impacted by Superstorm Sandy nine years ago.
More than 20 municipalities across the Garden State have outstanding Community Disaster Loan (CDL) balances. The loans, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), give local governments money to continue basic operations following a major disaster that affects their ability to provide essential municipal services.
“This long-awaited Community Disaster Loan forgiveness is greatly welcomed and much-needed relief for our local towns and communities that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said in a statement. “Nearly nine years after Sandy, our towns have finally received the reprieve they both need and deserve – and were originally assured – from these difficult payments.”
Point Pleasant Beach and Manasquan were among the towns to receive CDL forgiveness. According to a news release, Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra said the loan forgiveness could save the community about $1 million.
“This is a big deal,” Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan said in an announcement. “This represents hundreds of thousands of dollars that we would’ve had to repay, that we can now use for other needed projects and improvements in Manasquan. There is no lack of projects we need funding.”