Legislators hold 3rd public Sandy aid hearing in Middletown
MIDDLETOWN - Controversy swirled around the third and final public hearing on the state's plans to spend more than $1.4 billion in Sandy recovery aid at Brookdale Community College in Middletown.
Dozens of Superstorm Sandy survivors attended the three-hour meeting and unloaded their anger and frustration on New Jersey officials who have laid out plans on how to spend the latest round of funding.
Victims say the help they need is not getting to them. "You don't really care about us," says one homeowner, "because if you did, you would be on the front lines really working harder to make sure that all of us, after 16 months, get the help we need."
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Homeowners made it clear that so far, the process hasn't been running smoothly. "Why would any of you possibly think that any of us could have faith in you handling $1.4 billion?" asks another attendee.
The state wants to use about half of the money for housing programs, which would include grants for homeowners to rebuild and developers to construct new housing.
About a third of the next round of money is expected to go toward fixing infrastructure systems vulnerabilities that Sandy exposed in the areas of transportation, energy and water.
Friday's meeting follows hearings held earlier this month in Galloway Township and Newark.
New Jersey received $1.83 billion in storm aid last year.