Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski recently spoke with CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Program staff about the buyouts underway in his district for homeowners whose properties were destroyed by Sandy; and about the costs, and benefits, of relocation.
Currently, almost 200 homes in the coastal community of Sayreville, New Jersey are expected to be eligible for buyouts under the state’s Blue Acres Program. Among other issues, Deputy Speaker Wisniewski discusses questions surrounding how the community will be able to compensate for the loss of nearly $1 million in property tax revenue. There are also unanswered questions about who will maintain newly created open space where destroyed homes once stood.
“Long term, this has to be a topic that this legislature and other state legislatures engage in,” says Wisniewski. “Because if we fail to do this, we do so at our peril. If we fail to do this, we will be buying bigger bills that we won’t be able to pay in the future.”
— Rona Cohen