Lavallette’s officials and professionals are currently writing an appeal to a national panel at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seeking reimbursement for the $4.5 million that was spent building the borough’s new municipal building.
FEMA’s regional appeals panel had already denied the borough’s appeal, but recently released a report determining how much damage the agency felt the building suffered during Superstorm Sandy”, kicking off a 60 day deadline for the national appeal to be filed.
“I read through the report and they determined our borough hall suffered $225,000 of damage,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero who, naturally, said the determination was incorrect given the damage to the building, and the multi-million dollar effort it would have taken to try and restore the old building.
“You can’t even build a handicap bathroom for $225,000,” said LaCicero. “My question to them is, ‘where were you during the storm?'”
Previously, FEMA’s determination was that the site had suffered about $100,000 in damage. The borough estimates it would have had about $2.5 million in costs to repair the damaged building, and build a new facility that includes what FEMA would call “critical infrastructure” such as a police station.