By Chief Political Michael Aron
The governor came to storm-ravaged Seaside Heights on a day when the action in Washington could be helpful to residents here and along the shore.
“As Seaside Heights rebuilds over the next number of months. It’s going to provide a great lift in spirits both for the people of the state and for people around the country who, after appropriate action today I hope by the United States Senate and the signature of the president, will also be investing in New jersey, investing in our rebuilding and restoring the great Jersey Shore,” Christie said.
He announced that he is adopting the proposed new FEMA flood designation maps that suggest how high a home or building must sit on pilings once the rebuilding is done.
“Our obligation in my view in this rebuilding process is the need to give our familes, small business, and communities the most current and most accurate information as they rebuild, to know what the risks are. You can help avoid them by rebuilding smarter, more carefully to withstand future flood events. It’s that simple,” Christie said.
Christie acknowledged it costs more to elevate a home than simply replace it, but said the added cost will be more than offset by a lowering of the future cost of flood insurance.
“Homeowners rebuild using these standards, you will lower insurance costs in the long run. If you do not and your property is rebuilt without meeting FEMA’s updated standards, you will see increases in your premiums and your property will be less safe.” said Christie.
He said flood insurance for those who don’t elevate could be as high as $31,000 a year, whereas, if one rebuilds at the height recommended by FEMA, flood insurance could be as low as $3,500 a year.
On other subjects, it’s been more than a month the governor nominated two men to the state supreme court and he’s clearly getting frustrated at the Democratically-controlled Senate’s inaction on those nominations.
“The Senate President stands in the door of the judiciary committee and refuses to give these extraordinarily well qualified men the courtesy of a hearing. Members of the judiciary committee haven’t even returned their phone calls. The Senate President needs to start doing his job,” he said, taking a direct shot at Steve Sweeney.
But the main topic here was Sandy and the new FEMA standards.
“We don’t want one of these storms again but that one we don’t get to choose. This, we do get to choose. How we rebuild we do get to choose,” Christie said.