In its first meeting since Superstorm Sandy, the Hillsborough Township Committee on Tuesday had its own cleaning-up to do, including thanking the township volunteers and workers who helped the township response, as well as authorizing several measures dealing with the mess the storm left behind.
The committee approved an emergency $150,000 appropriation to pay for the township's response to the storm. The township will seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and any unpaid amount will be added to the next three years' budgets.
The committee also approved an agreement to join the Hurricane Sandy National Emergency Grant Worksite Program, which will provide 12 temporary workers for the Department of Public Works, and two for the Parks and Recreation Department, to continue the clean-up work.
"Our hope is that Dec. 3, we'll be bringing the employees in," Township Administrator Anthony Ferrera, who brought the program to the committee's attention, said. He added the county has been interviewing potential employees for the program and will administer the program.
The beginning of the meeting included comments from the committee members on the efforts made by township volunteers and employees after the storm.
"It was much more than we expected and we all pulled together," Committeeman Frank Delcore said.
Mayor Carl Suraci read a list of township departments and volunteers who he said were "instrumental during the days leading up to, during and after Sandy paid a visit to Hillsborough."
"We were spared the original anticipated flooding, but the high wind damage was devastating,” he said.
Mayor Suraci noted the township held meetings with first responders ahead of the storm to plan how to deal with the anticipated problems, and worked to kep residents informed. He said the township used "every possible means of communicating," including TV channels 29 and 27, eNewsletters, the township and OEM websites, and the board of education's Honeywell Instant alerts, Twitter and Facebook pages.
"It was a great collaborative effort between our administrator, acting clerk, police, superintendent of schools, DPW, Fire Safety, OEM, Rescue Squad, Health and Social Services as well as the other municipal departments to keep everyone informed and most importantly our residents safe,” Mayor Suraci said.