NOVEMBER 19, 2012:
There have been quite a few questions on ACCESS. We have outlined below the process that we have been following and will continue to follow:
- Grab and Go stage. This is what we did with the shuttles– take what you need to live and secure your premises quickly (Many barrier island towns only let permanent residents in).
- Remediation. This is what we are starting now. It is basically work that you (or your contractor can do) without a construction permit– winterization, sheet-rock and insulation removal, removing damaged outlets/switching devices and emergency shoring. This is also when insurance adjusters, engineers, contractors, etc. come in to plan for the reconstruction phase. At this point access is limited to the two passes only. We do not yet have the room for trailers. When we do, we will let them in.
- Reconstruction. Work that needs to be done to return your home to pre-Sandy condition. We hope that this work will be able to be begin in the next few weeks. It is really important that before we fill the town with construction workers who are working with timber and combustible insulation and who are bringing in generators and heaters that can create fire that we need to have a safety system in place (fire hydrants, equipment etc). Nobody wants this situation to go from bad to worse. Safety is paramount. To that end, please notify officials in Borough Hall next week if you have an oil tank on your property.
- The Borough Planning Board is already beginning to meet with our town engineers to determine how to address our building needs post Sandy (elevations, variances, permits, etc).
IMPORTANT BUILDING DEPT. INFORMATION:
The State has kindly offered the services of the NJ DCA (Department of CommunityAffairs) to help us with the Reconstruction Phase. The DCA will be staffing a location near the Borough to assist our Construction Official in issuing/approving permits and helping to facilitate our reconstruction efforts. The DCA’s goal is to have staff in place by November 26. They also advised us on the process for houses that have been coded “Red”. If your house has been coded red, you will need to have your engineer/architect examine your home. Your engineer/architect should thoroughly assess your home and supply a copy of their report to the Building Department. They should also roughly estimate the percentage of damage to the structure that needs to be repaired. It is important to note that anything beyond emergency shoring will most likely require a permit and the approval of Borough construction officials. If you have any doubts, please reach out to the Building Department on or after November 26. Once the DCA staff is up and running, we will pass along the address of their location and the best way to get into touch with them. The DCA has been particularly helpful and we are really fortunate to have their assistance as we put the pieces back together. The town will be waiving Construction Permit fees for work associated with “Sandy” damage.
Since we have had so many opinions on our process, it is important to put things in perspective. Mantoloking was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit communities on the barrier islands. Many communities to the South are still in Phase 1 and are allowing residents to come to town on a bus with one bag and an hour to gather their belongings and leave. Through our relationship with State contractors and State Police, we have devised a system which tries to balance the needs of everyone. Safety remains priority number 1. Next is protecting the town and getting core infrastructure in place while allowing access to residents to remediate extensive damage. By following this process we have had no fatalities and no injuries and we want to keep it that way. We hope that you now not only understand the process, but do your best to embrace it.