Beach Haven could lose Sandy aid after audit shows $3.7 million in funding was not needed

The Homeland Security Department's Inspector General's Office released a report Tuesday. (4/2/14)

BEACH HAVEN - A federal government audit determined that more than $4 million in Sandy aid allotted to Beach Haven should be reallocated or repaid because it was not needed.
    
The Homeland Security Department's Inspector General's Office released the report Tuesday on money granted to the shore town.

Richard Crane is the borough manager in  Beach Haven on Long Beach Island where things certainly look normal.  The focus last year was on getting the town's parks and beaches cleaned up before tourist season began. 

"We're probably in debt in excess of $10 million so far due to Sandy, and just to put it in perspective, that's more than our entire municipal budget in a given year," Crane says. He says they still have two to three years before the town is completely back to pre-Sandy conditions.

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Residents and visitors appreciate the quick work. "I could not believe the change from when the storm hit and then by June 1, you drove down the boulevard and it was like nothing ever happened. It was amazing," says Carolyn Proulx, of Sparta.

The town was able to save money on debris removal when they paired up with the county and got the job done for much less.

A federal inspector said in a report last month that the town did not need $3.7 million of funding that was initially granted but not used for the cleanup. The government is requesting more paperwork before agreeing to pay out $321,000 in reimbursements.
    
Beach Haven is to return $652,000 that was advanced, according to the report.

The inspector general says there will be more audits to come throughout the year for a number of towns in New Jersey.

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