For Immediate Publication
JULY 14, 2008
POC: Patricia Walsh
Middletown Democrat for Township Committee
Grenafege and Walsh push for Pallone’s FEMA moratorium
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, N.J.) — Middletown candidates for Township Committee Patricia Walsh and Jim Grenafege said residents would have welcome relief from the imposition of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps with recent legislation introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D- N.J.
“This moratorium is desperately needed by Middletown residents, many of whom face the mandated flood insurance for the first time,” Walsh said. “Time is needed to review the flood maps for their accuracy and give homeowners other forms of relief to deal with the additional financial burden.”
Walsh and Grenafege said Pallone’s legislation would place a temporary hold on the implementation of the flood maps while allowing the community to readdress its flood plain management.
The candidates said it would also provide tax credits and grants for a community and its residents. Walsh said the Community Rating System (CRS) is something Middletown could be taking advantage of in order to decrease flood insurance costs, but isn’t.
“To a great extent, Pallone’s bill is a perfect example of the innovative thinking that the Middletown Township Committee has not provided,” Grenafege said. “Instead, the committee majority takes its typical ‘Shift the Blame to Someone Else’ approach and then do nothing about it except complain.”
Grenafege said, to date, he has not heard anything about Middletown going after grant money or funding.
“The current committee has failed residents by not moving forward with efforts to reduce the cost of flood insurance,” Walsh said. “Recently, the FEMA flood maps were rescinded in Washington, D.C., after the city took action.”
“The Township Committee has relied on resolutions and petitions to address the situation,” Grenafege said. “Instead of taking productive action, the committee passed a bipartisan resolution after several months that didn’t address the issue itself.”
“The petition does nothing more than voice disapproval over the FEMA flood maps. It doesn’t do anything concrete for the homeowners in Middletown,” Grenafege said. “FEMA has recognized this. The committee majority fails to provide ‘thought leadership’ because they prefer to fall in behind and follow a petition approach, which offers no real solutions. At best, the petition offers false hope. I would be looking for more innovative and creative thinking from the Township Committee, along the lines of expanding upon the good work Pallone has already done with his bill.”
Walsh said homeowners are desperate for some type of financial relief. “Pallone’s legislation is a step in that direction,” she concluded.