Despite not wanting to over-budget, but still having to be ready in the case of storms, the township is on track with its emergency funds after making several appropriations in 2011 to account for three devastating storms.
According to township administrator James Naples, the township first had to account for Hurricane Irene, followed by Hurricane Kate that hit the week after in September (but was not quite as heavy) and the freak snowstorm in October.
“It’s really a catch-22,” he said. “You don’t want to go over budget, but you can’t anticipate these kinds of levels of damage from these storms.”
For Bridgewater, and much of the East Coast, it was an extraordinary year, Naples said.
“I can’t remember the last time we had that type of heavy snow in October,” he said. “It was an extraordinary year with the combination of the three storms.”
After the storms, the township transferred funds in the budget to account for to clear away fallen debris.
And additional funds were needed to that were destroyed in flood waters.
“This kind of funding is unusual,” Naples said. “In the seven years prior, I don’t remember ever having to do this.”
“We do the best we can with manpower and equipment, and sometimes you just overwhelm the emergency appropriations,” he added.
As for FEMA funds, Naples said, the township has received $248,641 in reimbursement funds for storm-related clean-up from all three storms.
“It is for clean-up, storm-related damage to vehicles and anything else eligible,” he said. “But there was no damage to township property.”
And so far, Naples said, there has been no need for any additional emergency appropriations.
“Budget wise, we are doing well this year,” he said. “We are going to be OK for this year."