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Ocean County Debris Cleanup Costing A Hefty Penny [AUDIO]

The cost to clean up the damage left behind by Superstorm Sandy isn’t cheap. No one knows that better than Ocean County officials, who are set to approve an emergency appropriation this week. It will be the third one since the storm hit back in October.

Sandy trash
Trash piled up in Seaside Heights after Sandy (Townsquare Media)

The Ocean County Board of Freeholders is expected to agree to a $45 million allocation at its upcoming meeting this Wednesday afternoon.

The totals will help front the costs for Sandy debris removal on county rights-of-ways through 17 municipalities.

It’s part of a shared services agreement that the communities joined in after the storm hit, so they wouldn’t have to foot the bill entirely by themselves.

During last week’s pre-board meeting, Freeholder John Bartlett said, “We are going to borrow the money from certain county accounts and we are able to complete the process without having to borrow money from outside sources or take out loans. This is one of the benefits of having a surplus fund, which we are lucky to have.”

Bartlett is confident the county will be reimbursed by FEMA and the towns that are involved. The county first appropriated $10 million to pay for debris removal and cleanup of a County Park based in Lakewood. Then, they fronted cash in the amount of $50 million to pay for additional cleanup and haulage.

Bartlett adds, “The $45 million emergency appropriation set for this week will be used to clean up municipal debris removal – nothing more. We have also filled out stacks of paperwork for FEMA reimbursement. That should be coming in the future.”

There is still no word on how much the full cleanup will cost. Bartlett does say they are making tremendous progress towards the cleanup and recovery phase.

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Read more stories on NJ's Sandy recovery efforts

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