SPRING LAKE - A recently released audit by the Department of Homeland Security found that FEMA overpaid the Borough of Spring Lake for work to rebuild the boardwalk after Superstorm Sandy.
The final draft of the audit released by the Office of Inspector General recommends that FEMA get back $2 million of the $5 million allocated to the town to build the boardwalk. Spring Lake Borough Administrator Bryan Dempsey says that the report is all wrong.
“There is nothing to recover because we weren’t given anything,” Dempsey says. “It’s not like FEMA gives you $5 million upfront.”
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Dempsey says that Spring Lake laid out the money for the work, and was able to come in under the budget by using their own resources instead of paying contractors.
“We built 2 miles of boardwalk. We used all our employees and saved taxpayers $2 million,” he says.
The administrator says that the report makes it seem as if the borough did something wrong.
The audit also recommends FEMA disallow $1.2 million of the original allocation, because according to the inspector general, Spring Lake didn't provide support or documentation on things like equipment and labor costs.
Dempsey blames that discrepancy on a lack of time and knowledge on the part of whoever did the audit. He says he has all the paperwork to provide proof.
FEMA has 90 days to respond to the audit.