Senator Bob Gordon and Assembly members Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace (all D-Bergen/Passaic) on Thursday announced the awarding of $403,075 in state Blue Acres Funds to help acquire the homes of residents in New Milford that have been hit hard by repeated flooding.
Created in 1995, the Blue Acres program helps with the acquisition of flood-prone properties or properties damaged by flooding from willing sellers, and leverages preservation dollars through matching funds from federal, state, county and local entities.
“This funding will help New Milford take a smart, long-term approach to mitigate the flooding that has caused nightmares for residents for many years now,” said Gordon. “Rather than putting a band aid on the problem, we can finally start moving forward with a solution.”
“Flooding has gotten increasingly worse for New Milford residents over the last few decades, making it all that much harder for homeowners wishing to sell their house,” said Wagner. “Thankfully, the Blue Acres program will help them obtain fair market value so that they can find sanctity in a neighborhood outside of a flood-prone zone.”
The funding announced today will be coupled with mitigation grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help New Milford cover the costs to acquire the first five homes whose homeowners have submitted requests for acquisition due to persistent flooding. The FEMA grants will cover 75 percent of home acquisition while the Blue Acres grant will cover the 25 percent local matching grant required by FEMA.
“With the record flooding that’s hit our state in recent years, it makes more sense to provide homeowners with a permanent solution to the problem rather than providing costly clean-up grants every time a home is flooded,” said Eustace. “This is a great example of the state and federal governments working together to provide a real, long-term solution to a persistent problem.”