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Sandy Cleanup Costs in Warren Expected to Top $125K

Township Committee approves emergency appropriation and waives permit fees for storm repairs.

Last year's cleanup after Hurricane irene and the October snowstorm totaled $125,000—and the cleanup for Superstorm Sandy is sure to top that figure.

But the Township Committee approved an emergency appropriation of $125,000 at Thursday's meeting to begin covering the costs of cleaning up after the storm. According to Mayor Carolann Garafola, the amount was based on last year's storm cleanup costs.

 "We did receive 75 percent reimbursement on that amount," she added.

The township just started picking up trees and branches blown over by the storm this week, and the total bill may not be known for some time.

The committee also approved a resolution waiving permit and inspection fees for building and electrical for residents needing to repair—or rebuild—homes after the storm.

"This is not for new improvements and generators," Township Administrator Mark Krane said. Krane said the resolution is the same as the fee waiver passed last year.  

Mayor Garafola said the township's goal is to "help all of the residents who had storm-related damage."

The township isn't setting a time limit on the fee waivers, but residents will be expected to verify the damage being repaired is from the storm through photographs and insurance claims.

And officials stressed the waiver only applies to township-performed inspections, not those performed by third parties services contracted by the township, such as plumbing and fire inspections.

"It's the building and electrical," Krane said. "The building is the major portion of the fees."

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