By John Burton
TRENTON — The Christie administration is making $3 million in federal relief dollars available to help zoning offices in Sandy-impacted communities handle the continuing large amount of rebuilding applications.
The money will be made available for qualifying towns in the nine counties determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be the most impacted by last October’s storm, which includes Monmouth. The state’s Department of Community Development (DCA) will contact the communities and award the grants on a first-come first-serve basis.
To be eligible for the grant, municipalities must show there is a need for additional money and its zoning applications have increased by 10 percent or more because of Sandy or that property assessments of at least 100 homes have been reduced because of the storm.
Towns receiving the grants can use the funds to hire technical and administrative support, retain staff from private firms on an as needed basis, and rent additional office space to accommodate the additional staff, according to DCA.
The state is using money it received through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program.