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FEMA funding to fix pump station

KEARNY-

The Kearny Municipal Utilities Authority has been awarded a $3,040,821 federal grant to help repair equipment damaged by Superstorm Sandy, it was announced Dec. 12 by the office of Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th District).

The money, allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as provided under Section 406 of the Stafford Act, will go for the repair of the KMUA’s Kearny Point pump station in South Kearny and will require a local 10% match of $378,691 to provide the full amount needed to facilitate the fix, according to Pascrell press aide Tom Pietrykoski.

Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos said he’s confident that the KMUA has sufficient funds in its reserves to cover the local share required for the Kearny Point pump project.

In the wake of Sandy, flooding damaged the area now known as Kearny Point, including the Hudson County Jail, along with other county buildings along S. Hackensack Ave., and warehouses owned and operated by industries in the low-lying area.A press release from Pascrell’s office said the repair work “includes but is not limited to” repairs to a grit removal chamber, replacement of various damaged components of two pump channels, replacement of four pumps and replacement of a damaged concrete masonry unit wall between stairways of the pump station structure with reinforced concrete.Additionally, the release said, the funds will pay for temporary bypass pumping to allow for completion of repairs and for upgrades of a gas detection system and ventilation system that allows for at least 12 air changes per hour.

Meanwhile, Santos said that the town is still waiting to hear from FEMA whether its application for additional funding for other repairs to damaged pumps and infrastructure also wrecked by Sandy.

“Even more than a year after Sandy made landfall, there is still evidence of this historic storm’s devastation,” said Pascrell. “Recovering from this type of destruction requires the full cooperation of local, state and federal resources. Utilities like the KMUA provide a critical service in protecting our environment and the public’s health, so their recovery must remain a priority. I will continue to fight to ensure our utilities have the resources they need to rebuild and be better prepared for future disasters.”

— Ron Leir

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