BELMAR – A New Jersey shore community ravaged by Superstorm Sandy is celebrating the rebuilding of its boardwalk.
Gov. Chris Christie joined state and federal officials Wednesday as officials applauded the $6.6 million rebuilding of the 1.2-mile Belmar boardwalk.
Christie wasted little time in telling the crowd that gathered near the ocean that he is losing patience with federal officials he says have an obligation to help states affected by Sandy.
“We’re not going to fully recover unless we get this money from Washington,” Christie said a day after delivering a State of the State address that was dominated by Sandy.
“Contrary to our image around the country, we have been patient,” he said. “We will not be shortchanged. We will not accept anything less than anything we’ve done for states like Alabama and Mississippi.”
The governor’s comments were echoed by Congressman Frank Pallone, who told residents he and other elected officials are pushing hard to ensure New Jersey gets the federal funding Congress failed to act on in 2012.
“We have to get this hurricane relief package passed,” he said. “The most important thing right now is to get this done as quickly as possible.”
Belmar’s mayor, Matt Doherty, assured residents Belmar will be open in time for summer.
“Today is the start of rebuilding our boardwalk in time for the summer,” Doherty said. “A day like today is a day … [when we] can start feeling good again.”
Christie promised to return to Belmar around Memorial Day when the ribbon is cut on the rebuilt boardwalk.