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The Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association (OBVTA) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the Township of Toms River, NJ section known as Ortley Beach, NJ. Like OBVTA on Facebook!

General Meeting Notice:          Visit us on Facebook:

Please notice meeting date, time and location changes:

Next meeting is scheduled to be on 7/19/14 at 9:30 AM (Coffee & donuts @ 9:00 AM). Check the Meetings Page for an updated Treasurer's Report, Agenda and information about the next meeting. Please note the new meeting location.

The Moose Club on Bay Blvd
1801 Bay Blvd.
Ortley Beach, NJ

Why Join Us?

OBVTA tries to represent all the residents of Ortley Beach with the goal to improve the quality of life in the township.
  • Membership gives you a voice in the decisions OBVTA makes regarding Ortley Beach.
  • Membership gives you an opportunity to join one of our committees.
  • Membership helps to give you closer participation in local events.

A special THANKS to our Ortley Beach businesses that are now members of OBVTA. We added business memberships last year and we thank them for helping to make OBVTA a successful organization. Please patronize their businesses in town.

To join, please print and fill out our 2014 Membership Application Form.

HURRICANE SANDY INFORMATION:

Toms River has added a section to its website devoted to news about Ortley Beach. To access this area go to www.tomsrivertownship.com and click on Ortley Sandy Information.


The deadline to file and appeal on your flood insurance claim has been extended by 6 months from the previous deadline of April 28th that was announced at the last membership meeting. This is good news for those still in the recovery process.


Heather Haddon from the Wall Street Journal is searching for Sandy victims who are still receiving temporary rental assistance from FEMA, and are about to lose it at the end of the month. If you are open to sharing your story, please email Heather at heather.haddon@wsj.com or call 917-705-1397.


Toms River held a public meeting for a Strategic Recovery Plan. Check out the Community News page for the Strategic Recovery Planning Report.


A request from Rutgers to complete their survey if you have children potentially impacted by superstorm Sandy. More....


There was an ordinance introduced at the Toms River Council meeting that will change the zoning requirements in Ortley Beach (and all of Toms River). Changes will be made to the maximum square footage allowed, depending on lot size, and to limits on impervious coverage. If you have a house in the planning stages we encourage you to contact Toms River Planning dept. to learn more about this.


Summary of Recent OBVTA Meetings with Government Officials:


TAKE ACTION TO PASS THE HOMEOWNER FLOOD INSURANCE AFFORDABILITY ACT


NEW LINKS:

There is a link on the Toms River webpage about appealing your 51% damage assessment by FEMA if you wish to do so. OBVTA is collecting more information about this issue and will communicate when we know more. The link is:
http://tomsrivertownship.com/index.php/General-Information/substantial-damage-appeal-process.html

Link for information on State of New Jersey SHRAP (Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program) http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dfd/programs/shrap/

Link for information on Sandy Relief for assistance with repairing, rebuilding or building modular for primary residents who have homes that were damaged by Sandy. http://www.advopps.org/sandy-relief-modular-ramp-program-announced

Monmouth University is completing a survey about NJ residents recovery from superstorm Sandy. Your responses will help with future resources for areas with the highest need. Please complete the survey at the link below:
http://tomsrivertownship.com/index.php/Press-Releases/sandy-recovery-survey.html

Some of you have asked about repairs to your sidewalks that sustained damage from Sandy, or the cleanup efforts. We encourage you to contact Toms River about the repair and IF you are responsible for the repair, money is available to help. See the Toms River link below:
http://tomsrivertownship.com/index.php/General-Information/partial-reimbursement-program-for-curb-sidewalk-and-street-trees-that-were-damaged-by-superstorm-sandy.html


The Toms River building department has opened an office in the Ortley beach Annex, next to the A&P:

The Ortley Beach Annex is now open to accept permit applications for Toms River Township, Monday-Friday 7:30-3:30 pm. Located at 4030 Route 37 East, in the Ortley Beach Plaza next to the A&P, the Annex to the Building Department will accept all permit applications. Files that require Zoning or Engineering review will be forwarded to Town Hall for review. If there is any missing or incorrect documentation, you will be notified by the appropriate divisions. When submitting a permit application at the Annex or Town Hall, please indicate to the clerk if you would like to pick up your approved permit at the Annex. Construction inspections can also be scheduled at the Annex. For more information, contact the Building Dept. at 732-341-1000 ext. 8320.


For information on understanding mold and remediation, please click on: NJ Dept of Health pamphlet.

Volunteer Help For Ortley Residents

If you need help with funding, supplies or cleanup, please contact the following organizations.


Utilities:

Members of OBVTA have been asking for information and the correct processes to have utilities re-established at your Ortley Beach residence. Below are links to the best and most up to date websites that provide that information. We have posted only minimal information here because much of the information changes daily. Please refer to the websites frequently.


The utility companies have made significant progress on restoring all four utilities to Ortley Beach. The link below will show a map that shows where utilities are not yet restored because the infrastructure is not ready.


Ortley Map

If after reviewing this you believe you should have utilities, but do not, then you are urged to call your utility company directly. Please remember that while the utility services may be available, residents should make sure that they have had the correct inspections before their services are restored. For example some customers have requested to have electricity restored but JCP&L has found the meter box to be so corroded that it is not safe to do so. JCP&L will not restore power if their personnel believe it is not safe. Homeowners are advised to contact the utility company directly if they have specific questions about re-connections.



Jersey Central Power & Light Recommendations for New Construction or Rebuilding

To accommodate rebuilding efforts and provide guidance in those areas where customers may have to raise their homes up in compliance with the new FEMA standards, Jersey Central Power & Light  ( JCP&L ) wants to make customers aware of potential clearance and access issues that should be discussed in advance of rebuilding.

Issues have arisen with encroachments on the clearances between electric power lines and buildings and in some cases, could result in serious safety concerns, risk of property damage, injury or death.    The intent of this letter is to raise awareness of these issues and to proactively review your plans before you commence your construction project or rebuilding efforts.   

To make application to JCP&L please call our 800 # ( 1-800-662-3115 ).    When your application is received, a Layout Technician will be assigned to your project.    The items listed below will be needed to properly assess your plans.   Please provide them at your earliest convenience.   JCP&L requires a minimum of 30 days to process and review the application.   The 30 day review process will begin once the necessary  documents have been received.    You will be contacted by the Layout Technician assigned to your area to discuss the layout and cost associated with your request.  Please be aware that all revisions must be made in writing and, if not, may result in delays and additional costs.

  1. A complete clean set of the latest revision of the APPROVED SITE PLAN indicating the proposed relocation  of any poles, pads, enclosures, meters, etc.
  2. Please provide updated ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS revealing the elevations, doors, windows, decks, awnings, etc. of the structure. This will help with meter locations and electrical clearance requirements.
  3. Please submit a copy of the current RECORDED DEED for the site.
  4. Advise JCP&L in writing of any Deed, Homeowner and/or Township RESTRICTIONS that would impact the design and placement of electrical facilities.

 

In order to properly maintain the power lines, it is imperative that JCP&L have unrestricted access to poles, pads, enclosures, etc.  Please do not install sheds, fences and structures of any kind in the access area which will hinder maintenance or restoration efforts of your electric service.

It is our hope that by working together, and reviewing your plans up-front, we can; alleviate these issues, establish better communication, and provide you with safe and reliable electric service.


WEBSITES FOR MORE INFO:

Use this website for the most up to date information from JCP&L: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/outages_help/Sandy/barrier_island.html
Use this website for the most up to date information from New Jersey natural Gas: http://www.njng.com/safety/hurricane-sandy-updates/index.asp
Use this website for the most up to date information on sewer service from TRMUA: http://www.tomsrivermua.org/home.html

If you have further questions on this matter you may contact a volunteer member of OBVTA at the email address below: PJOrtleyBeach@gmail.com

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General Information:


Many of you have been sending us emails with concerns that OBVTA can not help with. Here is Mayor Kelaher's email address (TKelaher@tomsrivertownship.com) if you would like him to hear your concerns. Also, the Toms River Township have been updating their website at www.tomsrivertownship.com with important information.

Members of the OBVTA Board met with officials of Toms River to obtain an update on ongoing reconstruction and improvements in Ortley Beach:

  • We were introduced to the new Chief of Police, Mitch Little. He agreed to meet with the OBVTA board and for us meet the officers that patrol Ortley Beach so we can all know each other.
  • Toms River will restore the temporary dunes washed away in the early January northeaster storm. The contract was recently awarded and work should commence now, weather permitting. If necessary, action can be taken on an emergency basis if a serious storm threatens.
  • We have heard from the Governor’s office that the ACE dune and beach replenishment project is likely delayed until the fall of 2014. We will need to continue to rely on the temporary dunes until that project is complete. Toms River cannot put more sand toward the beach as it will simply wash away at high tide. In an emergency they might consider piling more sand on the west side of the boardwalk.
  • Even if Seaside Heights proceeds to build a seawall or install steel sheeting in addition to the expanded dunes, Toms River said that they are unlikely to consider the same for Ortley Beach. They believe that the lower profile needed for the dunes in Seaside Heights may warrant such action there, but not in Ortley Beach. Toms River reiterated that the Federal Highway authority chose to fund the steel sheeting in Mantaloking and Brick because of the narrowness of the peninsula there and the proximity of Rte 35 to the ocean, unlike the situation in Ortley Beach. Nevertheless, OBVTA will continue to pursue all possible avenues to strengthen the proposed dune system in Ortley Beach given the failure seen in Sandy.
  • A major breaking story by the Asbury Park Press, reported that Mr. McDonough, owner of a major portion of the oceanfront in the Ocean Beach area, along with several other owners finally agreed to sign the easements needed for the Army Corp of Engineers beach replenishment project.
  • Phase I of the demolition program (PPDR) is essentially complete. Seven homes were recently approved by FEMA and will be demolished soon. Phase I were the voluntary demolitions. (Toms River has 17% of all demolitions in the state of NJ). Phase II of the demolition program will commence soon. These will be the involuntary demolitions where the Township has deemed the structure unsafe, but the homeowner has not completed the required demolition. These will take considerable time as there is a required legal process. They expect there to be about two dozen homes in Phase II and the contract will remain open for about two years.
  • Toms River sent out 912 letters to properties that were in violation of code for not having completed required repairs post Sandy. 111 of the letters have not responded, while the remainder replied that the work was ongoing or would be completed. Toms River will begin re-inspections soon and then decide what action to take on each property depending on the findings.
  • The drain basin and storm drain cleaning continues but is being delayed by the cold weather. The last phase of the project is going out to bid soon.
  • An engineering study of Washington Ave. is ongoing to determine if there is way to reduce flooding on that street. Because the flooding has been determined to be the result of high groundwater levels at select times, only raising the roadway can provide relief. Better drains or pumping will not provide relief given the water source. The engineering firm is presently evaluating raising the road surface by 6, 12 or 18 inches. The feasibility of this will depend on the elevation of the surrounding cross streets and private property. (If you own property on Washington Ave, or on adjacent lots, between Arnold and 8th avenues, please contact OBVTA President, Paul Jeffrey at OBVTA@ortleybeach.org)
  • The street lights for the boardwalk/Ocean Ave. have been selected and installation will begin soon. It will soon be determined if the decorative lamp style being used there can also be installed on Rte 35 and on Bay Blvd. However, this is a project that would require funding by Toms River.
  • Toms River continues to aid those who need assistance with addressing “substantial damage” letters. They have assigned members of the Building department to help homeowners understand the best action to take. Trevor Newman (email: tnewman1@tomsrivertownship.com;  Phone # 732-341-1000 x 8357 ) is also available on select days at the Toms River Annex, next to the A&P, if advice is desired. We received confirmation that the 2012 tax assessment (determined in October of 2011) should have been used as the basis for the pre-storm structure value assessment. If this was not the case for you, please contact township engineer Bob Chankalian, or Trevor.
  • The Township was asked once more if there was an opportunity to alter the Ortley Beach summer trash collection schedule for garbage and recycling to prevent full recycling bins from sitting at the curb all week (from the weekend visitors until pick up on Friday). Simply changing the recycling pick up from Friday to Monday would reduce total pick up days from 3 to 2 per week, meaning less cans at the curb, and keep ugly full recycling cans from sitting at curbside all week. Toms River remains unsympathetic and explained again that this would require a change to all the rest of the Toms River pick up schedules, and require both garbage and recycling trucks to do pickups on the same day. Unfortunately they claim that these obstacles are too big for Toms River to overcome.
  • The Toms River tax assessor provided information on how 2013 property tax assessments would be determined. He told us that every property will be evaluated as to the extent of repairs post Sandy. If the structure is fully repaired, then the valuation will be completed using the State assessor’s manual. If work remains to be done, the value will be reduced by an appropriate estimated amount. For land assessments the values will be set using 2013 land sales data in the area. Assessment postcards will likely be mailed in February with a probable deadline for appeal sometime in May.

 

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Members of the OBVTA Board met with officials of Toms River Planning to obtain information about the process for providing input to an Ortley Beach Streetscape Grant application:

  • Toms River is eligible to apply for Streetscape planning and implementation grants as part of the NJ Sandy recovery process.
  • The first step in obtaining a streetscape grant is completion of a Strategic Recovery Plan (This is a NJ Dept. of Community Affairs requirement for all municipalities) Masur Consulting has been awarded the contract to prepare this plan. Once the work begins, the consulting firm will have a 120 day timeline.
  • The second step will be filing for a grant for the streetscape plan and the third step will be filing for a grant to actually implement the work. All of this needs to be coordinated with ongoing highway repairs by the NJ DOT, Ocean County and Toms River.
  • Following preliminary meetings between Toms River and the consultant, OBVTA Board members will be notified of possible ways to provide input to the consultant. The same will be true for the streetscape planning grant – when Toms River advances to that stage.
  • OBVTA provided Toms River with a copy of our recently completed 2014 Strategic Plan for Ortley Beach. We received feedback that this document will be extremely helpful, especially the specific recommendations, and will be provided to the consultant.
  • We were informed that the Toms River Planning Board is running mostly on time, with little backlog, but the Board of Adjustment is considerably backlogged despite more people being hired and special meetings. The situation is under review but residents should be aware that the typical wait for a Board of Adjustment review is four to six months.

 

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OBVTA Board members Paul Jeffrey and Joan Strathern met with Ocean County officials to obtain an update on the reconstruction of Bay Blvd:

  • The Bay Blvd reconstruction will begin work on Monday, March 3rd. Pipes and equipment are in place for construction to start. There will be temporary disruption and closures, but we will have a better road in the end. We continue to work with Ocean County on improvements. Ocean County intends to hold the contractor to the original finishing date, except for small finishing items which they may allow to be completed after the May 15th deadline. The contract includes a penalty charge. Ocean County plans to meet with them soon to understand how all of the work will still be completed by the mandated deadline.
  • Any detours resulting from the Bay Blvd. project should be on the west lanes, which are closed now. There may be a few days of cross street closings.
  • There are no restrictions on work hours except those by Toms River ordinance.
  • The following work will be complete by May, 2014:
    • All drainage
    • All damaged or missing pavement restored
  • Islands removed where damaged and restored, with topsoil and grass, to pre-Sandy condition. This includes those currently paved over for temporary crossovers.
  • The final paving top coat will not be completed until late 2014, or perhaps even later. This will depend on how quickly the homes are restored. The County does not want to complete the final paving topcoat until most of the new homes are complete to avoid new utilities damaging the final surface.
  • Ocean County intends to return the boulevard to the same or better condition than pre-Sandy. They agreed to make the street more attractive to the extent that funds can be made available. The County is receptive to new plantings as long as they are indigenous species (salt tolerant).
  • The County is not responsible for new or improved lighting, but they will work with OBVTA and Toms River to consider more attractive lighting.
  • Consideration will be given to alternatives to a grass median, given that is was poorly maintained in the past. The major concern is cost.
  • OBVTA commented on the poor condition of the Ocean County Utility Authority property. While the Ocean County officials do not have responsibility for that property, they agreed to help with that issue, if possible.

 

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Stop FEMA Now:

A new grassroots organization called "Stop FEMA Now" has recently formed and is providing useful information regarding the proposed FEMA maps and the rebuilding process. Please check out their webpage and join them on Facebook or Twitter.

StopFEMANow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop FEMA Now!

Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!

We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFEMANow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!

If you’re interested in joining our movement please share these links, spread the word, and visit us:

Visit the Stop FEMA Now website!Like Stop FEMA Now on Facebook! Twitter YouTube

 

Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS DESCRIBED BELOW:

On Tuesday, Jan 7th, George Kasimos of STOP FEMA NOW joined Senator Menendez in Washington DC for a press conference and to rally support for the upcoming Senate vote on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. This bill, S.1846, sponsored by Senator Menendez with 26 other sponsors, including Senator Booker, is legislation to modify the 2012 Biggert Waters Act and reduce and/or slow the huge flood insurance premiums that will take effect soon. The senate vote for this bill is scheduled for Wednesday.

You can help - and we need your help! - by contacting Senators Menendez and Booker and thanking them for supporting this bill. You can also contact your NJ Representatives in the House and ask them to join Senator Menendez in his office (Room SH528, Hart Senate Office Bldg) at 2:00 pm on Tuesday to understand and show support of this legislation.

If you live in Pennsylvania, it is critically important that you contact Senators Toomey and Casey and tell them to PLEASE support this Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act legislation S. 1846. Toomey has previously blocked any suggestions to modify the Biggert Waters act - he has absolutely no sympathy for those of us on the coast!

If you live in New York state please also contact you Senators Gillibrand and Schumer as well as your House representatives and ask them to join Senator Menendez and others in supporting the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act legislation, S. 1846.

Use the links below to identify and contact your senators and representatives in the House.

Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Representatives in the House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Lastly, if you need help about what to communicate, cut and paste the communication below and send to your representative.


Dear Senator, (or Representative) ______________,

This week, the Senate will begin proceedings on S. 1846, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. I urge you to vote YES on cloture and YES on final passage of this critical legislation. This is common sense legislation. Congress and FEMA should understand the ramifications of this law before implementing it. If this legislation is not implemented, homeowners and business owners across America will see dramatic, unaffordable flood insurance premium increases, even for properties with no history of flooding and those that built exactly as the government told them.

Again, I urge you to vote YES on cloture and YES on final passage of S. 1846, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

Sincerely,

 


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FLOOD ELEVATION INFORMATION
Please click on the link below for facts on flood elevation.
FAQ Flood Elevation Information

The Toms River Township website at www.tomsrivertownship.com is being updated constantly with important information. We are asking members to check the Toms River website often. Rather than reiterate the same information on the OBVTA website (www.ortleybeach.org) we will be using the OBVTA website for any additional information that is not already posted on the Toms River website.

There are a few important updates currently posted on the Toms River website summarized below. Please check the Toms River website for complete details.

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Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

Disaster Loan Outreach Center Locations:


Brick Township Civic Center in Brick

SBA representatives at the DLOCs will provide homeowners, renters, business owners and nonprofit organizations with face-to-face service in answering questions about SBA's low-interest disaster loan programs, completing loan applications, checking the status of applications and closing on SBA loans.

The SBA outreach centers will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday.

For more information, visit The Toms River web site.

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