TOMS RIVER - Gov. Chris Christie reassured residents of Toms River that they will not see a tax increase as a result of Sandy's devastation.

Mayor Thomas Kelaher says homeowners were afraid that the town would have to substantially raise taxes to make up for losing 18 percent of the tax base.

The Ortley Beach section is still struggling to rebuild. Officials admit that taxing extensively damaged properties would simply be unrealistic, and that residents still trying to recover couldn't afford an increase of 30 to 40 percent.

Christie announced Wednesday that $28 million in federal grants will help fund the town's essential services, like police, public works and volunteer first aid squads.

Toms River has joined 11 other communities receiving $44 million to fund services. Christie says communities won't get back every dime lost, but homeowners won't be footing the bill either.