Mayor David Brown is pleased to announce that thanks to the tireless efforts of the Township Council and administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) will reimburse the Township in excess of $1.9 million additional dollars for costs associated with the July 2004 floods. The Township previously received approximately $930,000 in reimbursement related to the catastrophic event. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the funds will come from FEMA with the remaining twenty-five percent (25%) from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
“This is a great day for the people of Medford. The Township has pursued these funds steadily since the remediation work was done. Finally, our pleas have been heard and our hard work has paid off,” explained the Mayor. Councilman Chris Myers added, “Too often we hear about recovery efforts from natural disasters in other parts of the country.
When the events of the July 2004 flood struck home, our emergency responders put forth incredible effort to save lives and property. We expended millions of dollars in repairing the extensive damage with FEMA’s acknowledgement, and with the expectation that the federal government was there to assist us financially. After aggressive action on Medford’s part over the past four years, FEMA has recognized the effort put forth, and has confirmed it will reimburse the Medford taxpayers for these actions.”
The flood occurred in the Summer of 2004, and the Township efforts to obtain reimbursement were undertaken soon thereafter. FEMA authorized the recovery work, however, it initially would only reimburse the Township $131,360 for certain work, including the repair of sewer main and roadway wiped out by the flood at Ramblewood Drive. The Township appealed FEMA’s limited reimbursement decision in both 2006 and 2007. With those appeals pending, the Township continued to press representatives from FEMA for the recovery of funds it was due.
“Our residents should be proud of the commitment put forth by our emergency responders. Thanks to the quick and decisive action of dedicated men and women, no lives were lost during the storm and recovery efforts,” lauded Councilwoman Mary Ann O’Brien. “The efforts by the Township after the storm to make repairs, and pursue reimbursement are also to be commended,” she continued.
Councilman Joseph Lynn noted, “We continued to press the position with FEMA that the destroyed sewer pipe would have contaminated the lakes and shorelines downstream if not immediately corrected, creating a public health problem. We had to bypass sewage and rebuild the system while holding back millions of gallons of water from upstream. The end result was a great effort by emergency responders, Township staff and the construction team.”
FEMA representatives have now confirmed that the Township’s emergency repair and remediation efforts will be reimbursed the additional $1.9 million, on top of the funds originally received. The Township expects to receive those funds by the month’s end.
“In the end we just wanted to be treated fairly, like any other town that is devastated by a natural event. We are thankful that FEMA has ultimately acknowledged our efforts and will reimburse our expenses,” concluded Deputy Mayor Robert Martin.
CONTACT: MICHAEL ACHEY, TOWNSHIP MANAGER
(609) 654-2608 x328