OCEANPORT – The Monmouth County Library has received an insurance settlement of $283,704 to restore the collection of library materials to the Oceanport branch, which was heavily damaged during Super Storm Sandy.
The insurance settlement was secured through the Monmouth County Department of Insurance and Risk Management. The $283,704 settlement will be used to order new books, periodicals, DVDs and CDs to replace those lost in the storm, according to Renee B. Swartz, Monmouth County Library Commission chairwoman.
“Our Oceanport branch suffered the loss of its entire collection and has been closed since Sandy struck at the end of October,” Swartz said. “The commission is committed to the re-opening of the library as soon as possible for Oceanport residents, who sorely miss their library and its services.”
It is hoped the refurbished library branch can re-open sometime in late April, Swartz said.
Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the library system, said she is pleased with the insurance settlement for the Oceanport branch, and praised the Selective Insurance Group and The Dittmar Agency for their diligent work on the matter.
“The insurance settlement not only allows us to recoup the collection for Oceanport, it is vital to the re-opening of the library,” Burry said. “In addition, library staff at other branches have pulled together to find another 3,000 replacement items for Oceanport. We know how important the library is to the Oceanport community and we hope to have it back up and running very soon.”
The settlement was received from the Selective Insurance Group. The Dittmar Agency, Freehold, was the insurance broker used by the county for the library’s claim.
According to Monmouth County Library Director Kenneth Sheinbaum, the Oceanport branch, which is located in the Oceanport Borough Hall complex off Myrtle Avenue, sustained widespread flood damage. More than 18 inches of water flooded areas of the library. Approximately 18,000 items – including books, CDs, DVDs and periodicals – were either flooded or otherwise contaminated and had to be thrown out.
Under Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) guidelines, all books and other library materials exposed to floodwaters had to be disposed of, Sheinbaum said. Library computers, printers, shelving, desks and furniture were also damaged in the storm.
The Monmouth County Library System is responsible for the replacement of the library collection items, according to Sheinbaum. The borough of Oceanport, which owns the building, is responsible for the physical repairs.