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September 28, 2010

Re: Disaster Management Reimbursement

Dear Mayor:        

Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent of the NJ State Police has asked me to forward to you this letter concerning important Emergency Management matters you should be aware of.  The text of this letter follows.

Thank you,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) provides the following facts and information concerning our recent disaster recovery activities. The intent of this letter is to provide you with an update to the disaster management process. Specifically, this letter addresses public assistance reimbursement for the presidentially declared disasters of November (DR1867) and December of 2009 (DR1873) and February (DR1889) and March (DR1897) of 2010.

The public assistance reimbursement process is well underway. FEMA has obligated a large majority of the funding necessary to reimburse applicants. The reimbursement process is a "first in first out" process. Reimbursement for categories C through G (Permanent Work), involving small and large scale projects such as Road Systems and Bridges, Water Control Facilities, Buildings, Contents and Equipment, Utilities, as well as Parks and Recreational areas are paid out only upon completion of the recovery/rehabilitation project or through officially approved incremental payments.

As of this date, NJOEM has processed over 2,700 Project Work sheets (PWs), from non-profit organizations, state, county and local jurisdictions. The review process includes: NJOEM, State Police Grants Management/Fiscal Bureau, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Treasury. During this process projects are categorized by type: large, small, private non-profit and by the applicant's Federal Identification Number or Vendor ID. The review, assignment and verification of Federal and State Vendor ID numbers can cause a brief delay with the submission process.

Applicants have received more than 75% of categories A & B reimbursements for DR1867 and DR1873. Category A & B reimbursements include debris removal (Cat. A), and emergency protective measures (Cat. B).  We anticipate that by December 2010 all fiscal reviews for small projects (projects less then $63,000.00) will be completed and payment will be received by the applicant.

Accuracy and accountability in the public assistance/recovery process are essential for protecting every entity participating in the process, making rigid timelines for payment impractical. Large projects (projects greater than $63,000.00) could take several years to complete which prolongs the reimbursement process. Historically, projects are delayed when the applicant does not start or complete work in accordance with the designated time frame, or if there are scope of work changes for that project. Should you have further questions or concerns please contact your county Office of Emergency Management or the NJOEM Public Assistance Unit at 609-882-2000 extension 2700.


Joseph R. Fuentes





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