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Sandy Recovery Still Top Priority Despite Boardwalk Blaze

Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts press on almost eleven months later and he frustration from displaced homeowners continues to fester.

Benjamin Spinelli speaks at the Ocean County Mayor's Association meeting
Benjamin Spinelli speaks at the Ocean County Mayor’s Association meeting (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

Last week’s massive inferno on the Seaside boardwalk certainly didn’t help matters. In fact, for some, it’s made the whole process a lot harder forcing officials to turn to damage control while making plans for the future.

During yesterday’s monthly breakfast meeting of the Ocean County Mayor’s Association, several issues were discussed from the available business grants and home raisings to the stalled dune project and the recent events along the boardwalk in one of the most popular tourist spots in the state. Social media as of late has been lighting up with Sandy victims worried there won’t be money for them if it goes to the boardwalk repair project.

Benjamin Spinelli, the Senior Policy Advisor with the Hurricane Sandy Taskforce says that isn’t true at all. He says “the redistribution of some of the funds will have no affect on the Sandy recovery process. There is money out there and this won’t be an issue. The problem really lies with insurance companies. That’s a complicated and tough issue and is delaying payment to many affected by Sandy.”

In addition, Spinelli further pressed for local resilance partnerships between municipalities and local leaders. He feels “the more we combine strengths during the recovery process, the better.”

It could take anywhere from three to five more years before the new normal is fully established.

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