Business Owners Discuss Flooding Problems
Politicians begin and dialogue with volunteers and business owners to determine how best to handle flooding and other disasters when they occur. Businesses in the Mountain View section of town remain closed nearly a year after Tropical Storm Irene caused
A few business owners met Wednesday to start a dialogue and see what they can do to help each other the next time disaster strikes.
Wayne Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) and a newly-formed long-term recovery group sponsored the event.
A few business owners form the Mountain View section of town attended the gathering. The area is often one of the first in town to flood. Several businesses were closed for months after Tropical Storm Irene hit last August. Some haven't reopened yet. Grasshopper Too was closed for two months.
“It was a mess and it still is a mess,” said Ron Katoni, president of Advance Medical Supply on Legion Place. “The business owners I’m talking to all say that the flooding is too much of a disruption. This should be a thriving business community.”
Assemblyman Scott Rumana attended the meeting. He said that a permanent solution must be found before flooding begins to cripple the local economy.
Several homes in town are being bought out and demolished. But Rumana said that is not enough. He said constructing a flood tunnel and moving the water out to Newark Bay is a viable solution that state and federal officials should seriously consider backing.
“If we lose these businesses, we lose our jobs, we lose our economy and we can’t allow that to happen,” Rumana said.
Therese Farid, a local team leader for Project Recover encouraged those in attendance to talk to each other on a regular basis. She stressed the importance of working together.
Project Recover is a minister of Catholic Charities. The organization helps disaster victims recover from situations more quickly than they could on their own.
For more information about Wayne VOAD, visit its Web site. For more information about VOAD, how it is helping residents and local businesses, or to receive aid call Alyssa Cimino, VOAD’s liaison to the business community, at 973-986-0412 or e-mail her at Alyssa.firstname.lastname@example.org.