FEMA won't fund Ocean Grove boardwalk work

FEMA determined the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a private nonprofit organization

FEMA determined the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a private nonprofit organization (6/3/13)

OCEAN GROVE - Federal officials will not provide funding to help repair Ocean Grove’s boardwalk that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck, whose district includes Ocean Grove, said FEMA determined the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a private nonprofit organization. So its boardwalk doesn't qualify for public money because it's a recreational use.

“FEMA’s rejection couldn’t have come at a worse time,” Beck explained in a news release. “On the heels of the Memorial Day weekend, all the local shore towns have hopes of a prosperous summer, while Ocean Grove was just hoping to rebuild their historic boardwalk. There is no way the association can afford to rebuild on their own, no town could, and this is precisely why organizations like FEMA exist. This prejudicial decision is singling out one historic town that has been a landmark on the Jersey Shore for nearly a century.”

Ocean Grove is the historical section of Neptune Township. The middle section of its roughly mile-long boardwalk suffered damage when Sandy hit in October.

Association officials will continue to seek funding for the work and may appeal FEMA's decision.

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