So add this to the to-do list of Sandy clean up:
Make a list of submerged street signs that either need to come down or replaced.
October 2013 we went to Henry Hudson and listened to the Highlands Prioritization Report at the FEMA recovery meeting. I wanted to give an update of where we are.
|Highlands Project Prioritization Oct 2013||V||I||D||Final Priority Ranking||Completed by Oct 2014|
|STORM WATER DRAINAGE & FLOOD MITIGATION||58||5||0||Vital||N|
|DIRECT PIPING OF STORM WATER FROM RT 36 TO RIVER||55||7||1||Vital||N|
|ASSESS, REPAIR, & UPGRADE SANITARY SYSTEM TO REDUCE I &I, LOWER RATES TO CUSTOMERS||49||9||2||Vital||N|
|US ARM CORP OF ENGINEERS IDEAS||41||3||1||Vital||N|
|BAY AVE RENAISSANCE||34||13||8||Vital||N|
|CAPITALIZING ON SANDY HOOK & HIGHLANDS WATERFRONT||24||16||10||Important||N|
|ENHANCE STEEP SLOPE STABILITY TOWN WIDE||21||22||4||Important||N|
|CODE COMPLIANCE & ENFORCEMENT||21||18||13||Important||N*|
|COMMUNITY CENTER REDEVELOPMENT||16||20||15||Important||N|
|WATERFRONT PROMOTION MARITIME HISTORY & THE ARTS||11||18||20||Important||N|
* October 22, 2014 an ordinance was passed to give the town more leverage to go after abandoned/foreclosed homes.
You can go to http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dfd/programs/shrap for information as well as the different agencies that you can register with.
You can also apply at an office in another county near work etc. if that is easier for you.
However, the Affordable Housing Alliance is taking clients at the 181 Bay Ave (United Methodist Church) site on Mondays.
The Monmouth County Office on Aging Super Storm Sandy Victims Home Repair and Advocacy Grant people will be at 19 Bay Ave (aka Solution Center) on Friday June 27.
In order to qualify for assistance under this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
• You, and/or your spouse must be at least 60 years old or disabled
• The property must have been damaged by Superstorm Sandy
• You must own the property, and use it as your primary residence
email Douglas.Rice@co.monmouth.nj.us or call 732-431-7460
Residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy whose homes were insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are facing a late April 2014 deadline to submit all proof of loss documents and comply with NFIP claim requirements. Homeowners who have not appealed or filed additional forms and proof of damages by this deadline will lose the right to challenge their NFIP settlement. The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has partnered with United Policyholders, a non-profit insurance consumer organization, to host a webinar open to Relief Fund grantees, partners and New Jersey homeowners that will provide guidance on preparing these necessary documents. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:30pm ET and will walk participants through the NFIP claim and appeal rules, and best practices for documenting and filing losses. To participate in the webinar register at: www.uphelp.org/webinar
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Homeowners, Case Managers, Non-profits active in Sandy Recovery &
Long Term Recovery Groups.
Please help them spread the word about the approaching deadline and this available resource to the families, individuals and communities you serve by posting it on your Facebook or Twitter, sending an email to your contacts, or alerting residents via flyers or word of mouth. All Sandy impacted residents and organizations active in recovery efforts are welcome to logon and learn.
Merry Christmas Highlands, A poem by Highlands local Bob Mayers 2013 www.revolutionarydetective.com
Sandy—Your puppy soft name disguised a diabolical beast that slapped our little fishing village and spewed pain, sorrow, misery, frustration and humiliation. Be not proud- a year of healing and you are starting to fade away.
My thoughts as walked our quiet streets this past year—some things have changed, this time has not been bad, the warm season was pleasing and there is hope for going on.
But Jill’s gone, some say to Neptune City, four feet in her storefront. Heaven help our blue- eyed girl wherever she may be.
Ann’s gone, some say to a FEMA trailer- not sure where. Lost everything.
Russ was back the next day, climbed up to his second floor and as the waters ebbed mused on his forebears slogging through the same Parkertown marsh two centuries ago-no whining from him.
Clam Hut, trailer camp, and cherished boats- all gone forever. Is Skeleton Hill Island still there? Empty gas cans. Everybody told me a story.
In the aftermath angels gleamed upon our sight from faraway places and some appeared from among us. They came with blankets, pork chops, hot soup, backhoes and willing hands. They will never be forgotten.
Shades of those who came here before us- Lenape squaws with beach plums, Hudson on the Half Moon, pioneer Hartshorne, Cooper of Water Witch, Redcoats with muskets, watermen, actors, bootleggers, lighthouse keepers, artists, bikers, people in chains and trains filled with soldiers- these spectres look down through the vapor and weep in the night- They were saddened by our plight.
Diggers, goat-hillers and bennies mourned, cried together and held hands, but soon resumed their separate ways.
Lighter traffic down Bay on Saturday mornings. Where have all the people gone? Mortgages and houses- under water.
Fewer small craft brimming with string bikinis and dudes swilling Bud Light ply the restless Shrewsbury. Less anglers scurrying round the Hook to ensnare the elusive fluke, slammer or wily striper. Even the fish were exhausted and spurned us as did the tasty blue claws of the Navesink.
Sheetrock piled high, the reek of mold and mildew, triage dumps are mostly behind us, but critters still claim the rows of aged beach cottages where our families, in decades past, came by train from the “city” in hot summers
Gone but not out.
Cars at Bahrs, dedicated ladies planting impatiens, blockbuster fests to honor the clam and the falling leaf. Election signs. Yamahas purring on the intrepid clam skiffs with hand-painted names you see on the 19th century census – they hardly missed a day, but Eddie didn’t come back.
A twin light still winks with empathy from the high place. Maureen and a flash of crimson in the community garden, John’s magic videos inspire. A few homes on high pilings- now secure but awkward. Lots of hopes, plans and dreams.
Harbingers of resurrection and things to come –and nibbles of rituals that provide the consolation we crave in a time of recovery.
And now maybe, high dunes, a world –class marina and a transit village. But the soul of old Highlands will never be lost and changes may be our salvation.
A Future With Hope and the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA), the AHA will be doing intake sessions for the SHRAP grants from 9 am – 3 pm on Mondays, starting on Monday, December 16, 2013 at the Future With Hope offices. (aka The First Methodist church building located at 183 Bay Ave.,)
Please note that counselors will only be doing intakes on Mondays – so appointments are needed, no Walk-ins
Please call 732-389-2958 to register for an appointment.
If you have not already registered for the grant – you will need to call the Affordable Housing Alliance offices at 732-389-2958 to register. You will then recive a packet of forms that you will need to fill out prior to your appointment with a counselor. Note: To get a head start on this process, I would recommend that you contact your mortgage company to get a copy of your W-9 which is required for the grant as soon as possible as this takes time to get.
For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the press release explaining the SHRAP grant and a copy of the SHRAP Frequently Asked Questions sheet in the hopes that it may help with any questions you may have.
The Sandy Group Project is looking for volunteers to assist with Daniel’s Playground in Veterans park Highlands. A group of firefighters decided to make sure the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy are never forgotten by building playgrounds – 26 of them – each honoring a student or teacher who lost their life.
As they help Newtown families heal, they’re also helping communities rebuild — because each will be in an area ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.
In Highlands a playground celebrating the life of Daniel Braden is being constructed in Veteran’s Park. Volunteers are needed for the following times:
October 23rd: Truck unloading at 7:30AM
October 24th: Building all day starting at 8AM
October 25th and 26th: Rubber surfacing done by Giordano Contracting
October 27th : Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 11AM
Ok Highlands, send me your favorite most improved house since lifting and starting next week, I’ll post 3 and allow everybody to vote on it..
You can send to email@example.com
Chief Blewett in last night’s Council Meeting indicated there have been several instances of “Tresspassing” on homes being worked on whereas people are coming in and saying they are working for a 3rd party in charge of maintenance of the homes and changing the locks. So residences were coming back to their homes and finding new locks on the homes and not able to have access. The police are not sure why this is happening, but you have any information or this happens to you please contact the police immediately (732) 872-1158.
~ My take: there are so many homes people have walked away from & the banks maintenance people are using GPS and not looking at Street signs so they’re putting locks on the wrong houses.
WHERE? Water Witch Coffee & Tea 67 Waterwitch Ave Highlands, NJ
Guest Speakers – Coping Techniques – Togetherness
For More Information: Valerie McLaughlin ValVillB@yahoo.com
I received an email from from a Shrewsbury Avenue Resident and wanted to post out to readers:
I am writing because my husband and I lived in Highlands and got over 4 feet of water in our home. Everything was destroyed. My husband had a business in town. He ran a marina, which was also devastated. He was totally involved in the clean up and gutting of our home as well as the business. In February, he came down with pancreatitus and the doctors could not determine a cause. Today, just a few months later, he is hospitalized again with fluid in his chest and around his heart. Tubes where inserted for drainage and a doctor for infectious diseases is being called in because they again can’t figure out what caused this. When I spoke to some of my old neighbors, they told me they heard of others who have come down with different illnesses. I just want to reach out and see if any others have suffered with any illnesses. Please help!
Katherine J. Buel-Self
Kathy & Scott Self
35 Shrewsbury Ave.
Highlands, N.J. 07732
Havanas is having their “Grand Re-Opening” since Sandy. Friday night was their “soft opening”, while Saturday 8/24 is their actual opening. Its been almost a year to the day since Sandy.
|Monday||5PM – 10PM||
409 Bay Avenue
|Thursday||5PM – 11PM|
|Friday||5PM – 12PM|
|Saturday||1PM – 12PM|
|Sunday||1PM – 10PM|
You asked for it.. Ok you didn’t ask for it.. It didn’t actually make the list of “what businesses would you like to see in highlands poll.” But you’re getting it!!
A New Pancake House!! – The Highlands Pancake House
Its not like we have other breakfast joints in town.. (Ok, we have a few breakfast joints in town)..
But I’m sure none of them serve pancakes.
So Anybody hear about the Sandy Homebuyer Assistance Program ?
It will provide qualified low and moderate income borrowers with a forgivable, INTEREST-FREE loan of up to $50,000! All
you have to do is purchase a home in any of the nine Sandy-impacted area like Highlands, have a credit score of 620 and make less than $46k a year. Of course if you only make $46k, you can only afford a house that is about $50k. (That does include the down payment) After you pay your taxes, Home Owners Insurance, Flood insurance, Sewer, Electric, water etc. You’re broke. – But hey there is a program out there for you.
The objective of the survey: To better understand what Highlands Residents thoughts were post Sandy on our Borough’s processes for:
Who was surveyed: Highlands Residents 18 years old and older were eligible however only residents between 24 – 65+ participated. 41% were 25 – 44, 44% were 45 – 65, and 15% were over 65 years old.
Results of what Highlands Residents thought:
Single biggest Highlands issue: Flooding (81%) – shocker
Biggest Short Term Goal thought needed to be Addressed: “Help Highlands Residents raise their properties” (68%), in contrary, the one improvement that was significantly deemed “should not be considered” was “Raise the entire borough” (59%).
Highlands has “Satisfaction“
Most Highlanders reported they were most satisfied with: Their Neighbors helping them when they were in need(87%), also props were given to Borough for the clean up immediately after the storm.(82%)
What Highlanders were LEAST satisfied with: “Information flow from borough officials and borough employees to residents & the Borough website ease of use and quality of information”
Top 3 News Sources for Highlands Happenings & Information Post Sandy:
Word of Mouth
Highlands Blog (yay me)
What Highlanders thought the two most important things the Borough of Highlands could do to help residents:
Highlands residents have a strong need for information and leadership in regard to how to move forward and what exactly their game plan should be since Sandy. They are looking to Borough officials and employees to guide them in this process.
For the complete survey Highlands Study – Final Report
By the way did you sign the petition yet?
If you are clamfestted out next weekend, you may want to look into the Benefit concert at PNC Arts Center, O.A.R., a rock band known for its deep commitment to social responsibility—as well as its chart-topping gold and platinum singles will perform as the headline act in Holmdel on Saturday, Aug. 3.
According to Save the Jersey Shore co-founder Warren Diamond, the costs of The Concert to Save the Jersey Shore will be covered by the charity’s corporate partners, so every dollar of ticket sales, and a portion of merchandise sales (along with on-site donations), will go directly to Sandy Victims in need. Tens of thousands of people are still unable to move back in their homes.
In the 9 months since Sandy, months following Sandy, Save the Jersey Shore volunteers have helped to clean up hundreds of homes, delivered truckloads of building supplies, appliances and furniture, and distributed checks and gift cards to families on the edge.
A volunteer hosting site for Sandy recovery teams opened in Highlands, NJ on July 15, 2013. The Highlands United Methodist Church building which was flooded in the storm and has since been renovated by volunteers will be regularly hosting 50-100 volunteers from around the United States during any given week.
The opening of the Highlands site marks an important milestone for A Future with Hope. It is the first site dedicated to hosting volunteers and will serve as a flagship for its operations. In addition to housing volunteers, the Highlands site will be available to serve community needs for the surrounding neighborhood. A worship service for the volunteers and the community will be held every Thursday evening.
To learn more about A Future with Hope, Inc. visit www.afuturewithhope.org.
Ok, in recently researching the Faulkner Act, I found that Highlands *has* this, what this means is: that when the whole discussion on permit fees came up, if the council voted against it, then if enough registered voters signed a petition against charging the fees, the ordinance could have been overturned and the fees could have been waived.
That being said, how would you have voted??