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March 18, 2016

RE:   Weekly Policy Update

I. 2016 FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Application Period Opens
II.
Federal Bureau of Energy Management Withdraws Offshore Drilling Threat
III.
NJDEP Recreational Trails Grant- May 15 Deadline
IV.
President Grants Major Disaster Declaration in 17 Counties for Winter Storm Jonas
V.
Bill Interfering In Local Employee Performance Evaluations Held

Dear Mayor:

Here is summary of some issues of interest to local governments.

I.          2016 FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) has announced that 2016 FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants application period will begin March 15, 2016.  Applicants must apply for either grant via the Mitigation eGrants system located on the FEMA portal: FEMA Portal .

All complete applications are due to NJOEM (through e-grants) by COB May 13, 2016. NJOEM Mitigation Unit staff must review, revise and coordinate with other State agencies before submitting final complete application packages through the Attorney General’s office prior to the June 15, 2016 FEMA deadline. We encourage all applicants to submit applications through e-grants as early as possible due to the short timeframe and turnaround of applications.

For FY 2016 the total amount of funds distributed under the FMA Grant Program will be $199 million and $90 million for PDM Grant Program.

If you have any questions, please contact the NJOEM Mitigation Unit at (609) 963-6900 ext. 6208 or NJMitigation@gw.njsp.org

II.        Federal Bureau of Energy Management Withdraws Offshore Drilling Threat

Thanks to all who responded to the call for action, communicated in our January 29 Weekly Update, and thanks to the advocacy and leadership of Senators Booker and Menendez and Congressmen LoBiondo and Pallone, On Tuesday, March 15, Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewel released an amended Plan for the leasing of off-shore sites for oil and gas exploration. Crediting the groundswell of opposition voiced throughout the public comment by hundreds of coastal communities and their representatives, sites off the mid-Atlantic area have been removed from consideration.

The federal government’s reversal came after well over a year of strong opposition to the proposal from local and state elected officials, environmental advocacy groups and hundreds of coastal communities up and down the east coast whose economies rely on clean oceans, healthy natural resources, tourism and commercial and recreational fishing.

Contact:          Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.org or 609-695-3481, ext. 121

III.       NJDEP Recreational Trails Grant- May 15 Deadline

The NJDEP has announced that funding is available under the Recreational Trails Program. There are new application instructions, please review the 2016 Application Instructions document in its entirety.
Due to limited funds and an overwhelming amount of annual applicants, the program can only approve funding to approximately 30% of an applicant’s proposed projects.

Please visit NJDEP’s website for the Application Cover Letter, 2016 Application Instructions, 2016 RTP Grant Application, Program Requirements, Recreational Trails Program project evaluating factors, NEPA_NHPA Compliance Certification Form and RTP NEPA Environmental Evaluation Form.  Or visit the League’s Grant Resource Center for information on more grant new and opportunities.

IV. President Grants Major Disaster Declaration in 17 Counties for Winter Storm Jonas

On Monday, President Obama granted the State's request for a major disaster declaration due to the severe winter storm event that included heavy snow, high winds, and flooding during the period of January 22-24, 2016. For details, see our March 15 letter.    

Contact:         Michael Cerra at mcerra@njslom.org or 609-695-3481, ext. 120

V. Bill Interfering In Local Employee Performance Evaluations Held

The League of Municipalities opposes S-1105, which would interfere with local police employee performance evaluations. Specifically, the bill would prohibit local employers from any consideration of the number of arrests made and the number of citations issued, when evaluating a police officer’s performance of duties.

Current law appropriately prevents the volume of arrests and citations from being the sole consideration in police employee performance evaluations. Those provisions ensure against the imposition of quota requirements on law officers. These bills, however, would represent an excessive and inappropriate intrusion by the State into purely local personnel management matters.

The effective enforcement of laws will, necessarily, involve writing citations and making arrests. If consideration cannot be given to performance of these responsibilities, then responsible, hardworking officers could be given no preference, when evaluating candidates for promotion.  The result would be unfair to those officers, and to the taxpaying citizens they are sworn to serve.

Accordingly, we oppose S-1105. Though the bill had been scheduled for a vote in the Senate, on Monday, no action was taken. A companion measure, A-2126, has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. Please contact your legislators, asking for their consideration of our objections.

Contact: Jon Moran, jmoran@njslom.org or 609-695-3481, ext. 121

We are monitoring these events and will advise of any developments.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Darcy, CAE
Executive Director

 

 

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