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Pascrell Announces $4.58 Million in Federal Funds to Replace Moonachie Borough Hall Destroyed by Sandy

Police, municipal officials still displaced more than two years after devastating storm

Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced that the Borough of Moonachie will receive $4,582,662 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to repair the borough hall that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The federal funds are a result of nearly a year of negotiations regarding an appeal to the previous replacement cost of $1.1 million reached in an agreement between FEMA and the Borough of Moonachie - significantly higher than FEMA's original estimate of $68,000.

“More than two years following Sandy’s devastation, these federal funds mark a significant step toward making Moonachie whole again,” said Rep. Pascrell.  “After many months of negotiations, I am pleased to have worked with FEMA to help deliver this federal investment in Moonachie that will build a stronger Borough Hall in order to be better prepared against future disasters.  This is a clear example of the federal government and the local community working together to make the rebuilding process work. I would like to commend Mayor Vaccaro and his team in Moonachie for the hard work to obtain a positive result.”

Hurricane Sandy caused a devastating tidal surge from the Hackensack River to inundate Moonachie and Little Ferry, leaving sections of both communities under water.  As a result, Moonachie Borough Hall, which also houses the police department, sustained significant damage, forcing municipal officials and police officers to be temporarily relocated to trailers.

FEMA provided an original estimate of only $68,000 for the damage to Borough Hall, significantly less than the costs required to repair the destroyed structure. In March 2012, Rep. Pascrell helped negotiate an agreement between FEMA and the Borough on a replacement cost of $1.1 million for the municipal building, still far less than the actual cost.  Moonachie appealed the decision, with FEMA now approving $4.58 million to repair and elevate Borough Hall.

“After fighting for more than two years for the resources we need to rebuild, I am thrilled Moonachie will finally receive the federal funds we deserve,” said Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro. “The dedicated employees, police, office workers and professionals who have borne the stress of temporary surroundings will be able to offer municipal services in a location that will be the heart of the community, with the least amount of burden to the taxpayers.  Many people and many hours have made this possible.

“These federal funds will help strengthen our municipal operations, and ensure that our brave first responders have the resources they need to keep our community safe.  The new Borough Hall will be the permanent symbol of the resiliency and strength of the people of Moonachie.  I thank Congressman Pascrell for his leadership and persistence in helping to make this federal funding possible as well as his continued commitment to the people of Moonachie,” concluded Vaccaro.


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