Fair Lawn Denied State Money for Flood Buyouts

In October, the borough applied for $4.2 million in Blue Acres funding to assist with the purchase of 38 flood-prone properties.

Following , from three sources -- New Jersey Blue Acres, New Jersey Green Acres and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As of last week, however, relief appears unlikely for the vast majority of residents who had hoped the borough might purchase their flood-ravaged homes.

Fair Lawn learned last Monday that it had been denied Blue Acres funding and expects to hear more bad news from the federal government regarding its request for Federal Emergency Management Agency money.

"We have not officially heard from FEMA on the funding, but candidly we are not optimistic that we are going to be receiving funding from FEMA," borough manager Tom Metzler said at Tuesday's council meeting. "We know that there are neighborhoods in Lincoln Park and in the Wayne area that have been decimated on numerous occasions, and there’s not enough funding to purchase all of the homes in those particular areas."

The borough’s failed Blue Acres application will automatically be transferred to a Green Acres application that goes up for review Feb. 15.

 earmarked for the purchase of 38 borough-vetted flood-prone Fair Lawn properties.

Now it seems probable that only one of those 38 properties will actually be purchased -- the severely flood-prone and now unlivable 2nd Street home of Jeff and Barbara Dube -- which the borough is close to acquiring with Open Space funds.

All flood-prone properties ultimately acquired by the borough will be converted to green space and go toward the multi-decade development of a walking path along the Passaic River.

Chris Antonelli January 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Dredge the rivers. That is the only reasonable solution. It avoids the gov't from having to decide who gets what.
Ed Rooney January 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM
You're all so humane- go to church and say those things? Also, there are other things that contribute to area flooding that is/was out of homeowner's control.
Bruce Knuckle January 31, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Ed, Church has nothing to do with this. What else besides buying a house in a flood plain caused this? I didnt cause it and I dont want to pay for their bad investment. Since you brought up the humane part, I dont recall reading about Ed Rooney's humanitarian efforts with any of the flood victims. How about YOU buy the house from them.
Andrea Case January 31, 2012 at 10:29 PM
We actually moved out of a river front home in 2009 due to a job change. In the 17 prior years we lived in the house, we had 2 manageable floods in the basement (about 1-2'). Since we left, we are aware that there have been 3 or 4 floods in 2 years, including last year's much higher one. Sadly, I think the climate is changing and long term solutions (not blame) are needed. We had moved into the house knowing the flood risk and dealt with it while we lived in the house. But it seems the risk is growing quickly to levels not previously expected. Check the website: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=phi&gage=ltfn4&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 4 of the 10 highest flood crests in the last century have occurred since 2010.
Bruce Knuckle February 01, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Andrea, how appealing did you make living on the river seem to the unfortunate soul that purchased your house? How much are you giving back to them since its not their fault? The area in this case has had many big floods as far back as I can remember. I' ll say it again, I shouldnt pay for someone's bad investment, nor should the borough, it sets a very bad precedent.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »