Toms River Enjoying Services Grant
Toms River is one of 11 New Jersey towns benefiting from Essential Services Grants. The federal funding, part of the New Jersey Disaster Recovery Action Plan, allows towns to continue providing vital services without hiking property taxes or laying off dozens of workers.
Approximately 18 percent of Toms River's ratable base was lost due to Superstorm Sandy. At the same time, the need for public services increased.
Of the $60 million going out to distressed towns, Toms River is getting $28 million. Most of it will help avoid the layoff of approximately 25 percent of the Toms River Township police force and the entire public works force assigned to residential trash and recycling pickup. The rest is devoted to the township's Board of Education.
Governor Chris Christie toured Toms River on Wednesday to see how the funds are helping the town recover.
"The idea behind this program was to avoid what a lot of people were worried about, which was with the obvious decrease in ratable base, that towns would have to raise property taxes in order to be able to meet the cost of providing services," Christie said.