EAST RUTHERFORD - As the mayor of one of the towns that was particularly hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo recommended several changes today to current state policies and regulations that would help speed up the rebuilding process for homes and businesses and prevent sticker shock for taxpayers.
Testifying before the Senate Budget Committee at Meadowlands Racetrack, Raguseo made the following recommendations:
1.) FEMA reimbursements should rise from 75 percent of damages to 90 percent to prevent residents from moving due to increases in taxes.
2.) Streamline the DEP permitting process to allow towns to clear streams of debris and floodwater to improve flow. Raguseo described the process as “cumbersome.”
3.) Adopt a temporary rule to allow towns to adopt as part of their budgets “anticipated revenue” from FEMA for their 2013 spending plans. It will reduce the tax liabilities, he said.
4.) Have the Department of Transportation move forward with the long-delayed Little Ferry/Route 46 Circle elimination project. The project, he pointed out, also calls for the construction of a pump station, that according to the mayor, would improve drainage.
5.) An examination of the Meadowlands Region Flood Mitigation infrastructure.
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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