TRENTON – State Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III has announced the award of a $255,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to Rumson to put into effect long-range plans, designed to enable the borough to become resilient in the event of future significant weather events.
It is the second Post-Sandy Planning Grant that Rumson received. The borough was awarded its first planning grant in October for $19,000 and used it to complete a Strategic Recovery Planning Report, which serves as the borough’s guide for seven recovery and resiliency projects funded by the second grant.
“We applaud Rumson for being proactive in planning for the long-term and developing ways to make their community better able to withstand potential future natural disasters,” Constable said. “As one of the first local governments to be awarded Phase 2 planning grants, Rumson has demonstrated its commitment to finding solutions to the very specific challenges they are facing.”
Located on the Navesink River and largely within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone, Rumson experiences frequent flooding due to tidal flows and rainfall. However, Super Storm Sandy caused severe damage throughout the borough. Approximately one-quarter of all homes sustained major or severe damage. Commercial buildings also sustained damage along with numerous pump stations and failed generators.
The Borough’s Strategic Recovery Planning Report identified seven planning projects:
- Update its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) that will identify and assess the various flooding hazards within the borough, as well as the associated vulnerabilities to those hazards. The HMP also will identify alternative mitigation actions that can be implemented to reduce the borough’s risks resulting from exposure to flooding hazards.
- Increase the efficiency and quality of the borough’s permit and application process by going through a detailed review of its workflow and automating the process.
- Prepare a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to focus municipal capital investments of public facilities, vehicle fleets and equipment to build community resiliency in plants and equipment, such as raising generators above flood hazard elevations and developing contingency plans for storing and moving rolling stock.
- Develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) to enable the borough to better prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
- Amend key elements of the borough’s Master Plan to address post-Sandy strategies and policies related to hazard mitigation and community resiliency with up-to-date mapping of current land uses, new FEMA floodplain and wetland mapping, critical community facilities and important natural resources areas.
- Prepare an update to the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) to focus on any special planning needs generated by a hurricane or severe flooding scenario that will contain unique and regulatory responses associated with extreme flooding.
- Prepare a Floodplain Management Plan (FMP) to identify and assess flood hazards, establish the goals and objectives for floodplain management and present a series of actions designed to minimize flooding and mitigate the impacts from flooding in the future.
The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery money provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million program is available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1 percent or $1 million due to the storm.