The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Legislature honored Bob Burlew, the recently retired code enforcement and construction official for Union Beach and Keyport, at the Freeholders regular meeting which was held in Union Beach last evening.
Burlew is a real life hero to thousands of Bayshore residents who suffered devastating losses in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. His compassion, commitment and encyclopedic knowledge of the government’s byzantine recovery regulations has eased the burden for many throughout the years long rebuilding process.
Governor Chris Christie came to Union Beach today announce the funding of a resiliency and flood control project that has been on the drawing board since 1995.
Photo by Paul Scharff
The project plans have been updated since Superstorm Sandy and will include:
The massive flood control project – funded by federal, state and local contributions – will consist of construction of levees, floodwalls, tide gates and pump stations.
The project will also rebuild beaches, dunes, and groins, which are jetty-like structures that are designed to slow loss of sand from beaches.
In addition, more than 25 acres of degraded wetlands will be restored to help better absorb flood waters.
The majority of funding for the massive flood control project will come from the federal government at $132 million. New Jersey will fund about $57 million and Union Beach will provide $17 million.
“Union Beach has long been one of the most susceptible areas to coastal flooding in New Jersey, a vulnerability that was made all too real when Sandy slammed the town with its record 14-foot storm surge,” said Governor Christie. “As part of our long-term recovery strategy, this $202 million resiliency project will finally give this close-knit community the protection they need and the sense of security they deserve to withstand future storms.”
Tina Napalo lived in a bungalow-style house on Fourth Street in Union Beach for more than 20 years. “I didn’t have everything,” said the 40-year-old mother of four, but, “it took me a long time to get what I had.” Then Hurricane Sandy hit.…
Governor Chris Christie will spend tomorrow, the one year anniversary date of Superstorm Sandy destroying much of New Jersey’s coastal and inland waterway communities, traveling the state to honor residents, first responders and volunteers for their strength and resiliency over the past year, as well as to highlight the significant strides New Jersesyans have made in recovering from the historic storm.
In Monmouth County, Christie will make stops in Union Beach, Belmar and Sea Bright.
During his first Monmouth County visit at 2:30 PM, Christie will be accompanied by First Lady Mary Pat Christie to visit the Ciangiotta residence at 46 Scholer Dr., one of over 100 homes that have been or are being rebuilt by volunteers from Gateway Church of Christ, with funding from the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund that Mrs. Christie leads and other charities. Pastor Carl Williamson declined to say what is on the agenda for the Union Beach visit other than greeting residents and volunteers. Mayor Paul Smith said that Mrs. Christie’s charity has already contributed $1.5 million to recovering Union Beach residents and that more contributions are expected.
At 4PM, Christie is scheduled to meet and greet students and community members at St. Rose High School in Belmar. The school was “hammered” by Sandy, according to Mayor Matt Doherty who said the school was filled with fish and turtles after the storm. “The Governor’s visit to Belmar is an indication of his commitment to the Jersey Shore’s recovery,” Doherty said.
At 7:30PM, the Governor will attend a potluck dinner and bonfire at the Sea Bright Fire House, followed by a meet and greet with patrons of Angelica’s Restaurant, which is opposite the firehouse on Ocean Ave, at 8:30.
Christie will also be making stops in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Ocean Counties throughout the day.
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn will be part of the crew of volunteers fixing up 13 homes and building two new ones in Union Beach on October 12, according to a story first reported on Holmdel-Hazlet Patch.
“We’re ecstatic the Carters are coming,” said Ray Gabler, the director of operations for Habit for Humanity Monmouth County, based in Long Branch. “This is bringing attention to Sandy victims of low and moderate income all along the Jersey shore. We’re really excited.”
The goal is to repair 13 homes and construct two new ones in the Raritan Bay borough of Union Beach, where 270 homes have been demolished since Sandy. The small town was battered by winds and swamped by surging tidal water in the Oct. 29 storm.
Habitat for Humanity has identified the homes destined for repair, and is finalizing plans with two families for new construction. The new homes are being made possible by funding from the Carter’s organization, and Wells Fargo, said Gabler.
Union Beach Mayor Paul J. Smith has been keeping the news close to his vest for months, he said, and Secret Service officers have already visited. Smith said he is thrilled to welcome Jimmy Carter, 88, and Rosalynn Carter, 86. “I think it’s a big boost,” he said. “We still have some people hurting, but we have had so many beautiful volunteers come forward.”
In addition to Union Beach, Habitat for Humanity is also helping residents of Keansburg, Port Monmouth, Belford, Highlands, Atlantic Highlands and Sea Bright rebuild their Superstorm Sandy ravaged homes. The organization is accepting applications from both homeowners needing help and volunteers at their website.
Volunteers can contact the Laura Lella-Smith, the Development Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County at [email protected] or call the office at (732) 728-0441.
Former Waveland, MS Mayor Tommy Longo tours Sea Bright with Mayor Dina Long in February. Longo, three other Gulf Coast former mayors and former Congressman Gene Taylor will address the Bayshore Conference of Mayors on May 17 in Keansburg, Photo: NJ.com
A group of former mayors and a former congressman who led their Mississippi communities to recovery from Hurricane Katrina are coming to the Jersey Shore next week to share their knowledge and experience with New Jersey’s mayors and senior municipal officials who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
The group will be speaking at a meeting of the Bayshore Conference ofMayorson Friday evening May 17, 7PM, at Anthony’s Restaurant, 65 Church St in Keansburg. All mayors and senior municipal officials of towns impacted by Sandy are invited, according to Union Beach Mayor Paul Smith, the conference president. Those wishing to attend should contact Smith via text or phone call at 732-713-0506. If someone who should have gotten an invitation didn’t, this is it. Readers are encouraged to pass this post on to their mayors.
This mayors helping mayors project is the brainchild of author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch. A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina. She is the author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered and is donating a signed copy as a door prize for the conference. She was sent to Japan by the U.S. State Department in March of this year to deliver her message of Resiliency and Words of Hope to the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of the second anniversary of that catastrophic event.