What Will The Jersey Shore Look Like Next Summer? [AUDIO]
After hurricane Sandy battered the Jersey coastline, what will the shore look like next summer?
During last night's edition of "Ask The Governor," Governor Christie said the most important priority at the Jersey shore "is to engineer all of our beaches. We know that the beaches up and down the shore that were engineered - like Avalon and Seaside Park - they saw very little damage to private property."
Christie says when he saw the Governor's beach house,where there are big dunes, and not a drop of water was in that house.
"Those dunes got beat up significantly and are significantly lower than they used to be," he said, "But they held - one of the things I've said to the President and the Vice President is that's a priority...We need to engineer these beaches - this is going to be a billion dollar cost in this recovery, but the billions we're going to spend on FEMA financing - of helping these folks rebuild homes and recover - the investment of about a billion dollars - or a little bit more - will pale in comparison."
"I think we're going to have to look at - in some municipalities - the reason why the beaches were not engineered, is folks did not sign easements cause they didn't want their views blocked. For those people, they don't have to worry about their views anymore because they don't have a house...If we go ahead and we re-engineer these beaches and we get a significant federal investment to do so, I want to look with the Legislature at state law that supersedes that - that says if you're going to build in the beach, you have no right to not sign off on that easement...If we do that, I think we're going to be able to rebuild on the beaches and a lot of the businesses we're talking about - even the boardwalks - would have been helped by a more vigorous beach engineering process."
Christie also said, "If we get the assistance we need, I want Community Development Block grants for me to be able to give block grants to small businesses up and down the Jersey shore to help them reopen, so that they're reopened at some point next summer. That's the heartbeat of the Jersey shore - those small businesses, those mom and pop places- the pizza parlors, the small restaurants...Those are places that give a heartbeat to the Jersey shore - we need to help rebuild those - and I believe we've got to do better than just small business loans from the federal government."