One year to the day of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey, the municipal building in Moonachie still has damage from the storm. Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he’s still working from a trailer outside of the municipal building.
“We’re still operating out of the trailers in the back of the municipal building but we’re still working with FEMA, Congressman Pascrell and the governor’s office has been very supportive and hopefully we can move forward in getting the funds we need to repair the building,” said Vaccaro.
Since the storm, there have been differences between Moonachie and FEMA over the amount of damage from Hurricane Sandy. The town has estimated damage to the municipal building at about $1.2 million. FEMA, on the other hand, has estimated the damage at about $300,000 and has revised downward the amount of flooding that occurred inside the building during the storm.
Vaccaro says that the workers from FEMA who had originally begun working on the damage in Moonachie are not the same ones currently working on the case. After the storm, FEMA personnel had seen the marks from the flood water in the building at about 30 inches with mud and leaves on the floor. Over the last three months, Vaccaro says it has been difficult working with FEMA on the cost of work.
Not only did the municipal building in Moonachie sustain damage from the storm, but several residents were displaced and have been living in mobile home communities.
“In the last year it’s been a challenging year for everybody in the community,” said Vaccaro. “Not only the residents but for the members who work for the municipal portion of the borough, they’ve gone through a lot. The residents made an investment, they made an investment in their property and an investment in their community. They stayed, they made the investment to stay in their homes and we were looking to do the same thing with whatever municipal pieces of properties that we’re repairing.”
Repairs have also been made in the Civic Center, on the senior side of the building. The borough is also working on making repairs to the firehouse and Vaccaro hopes to have the municipal building back soon.