By John Burton
TRENTON — With Monday’s announcement that the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be making an additional $1.46 billion available for the state’s Sandy recovery efforts, 21 groups from around the state are asking for more public input in how those funds are used.
The group of organizations, including a number of Monmouth County-based ones, are calling on the Christie administration to have a two-week public input period to comment on any future action plan for the additional funds, as well as holding public sessions, asking Gov. Chris Christie to attend at least one of the public sessions.
According to the letter the organizations sent to the governor, a survey of those who said they were severely impacted by Sandy, 75 percent said they have been “forgotten” in the recovery process. And when the governor’s office announced its previous action plan, only seven days were allowed for public comment, according to the group, “which excluded many New Jerseyans most affected by storm.”
Among the 21 community, arts and environmental groups are the American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, NY/NJ Baykeepers and the Monmouth County Arts Council. Other organizations involved are the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions and the American Planning Association/NJ Chapter.