Danielsen: I’ll Fight For Brook Restoration Money

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen speaks to the Township Council at its July 9 meeting.

About $1 million of the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget targeted for a township stream project was frozen by Gov. Phil Murphy, but a local state Assemblyman has promised to fight for it.

The $1.1 million was to go to restoration efforts along DeRussey’s Brook, which sustained damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Murphy in June froze about $235 million of the state’s budget, saying he was not going to release those funds until he was convinced money could be found without raising taxes.

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-12) said at the July 9 Township Council meeting that he will not give up the fight to restore that money earmarked for Franklin.

“As your representative I am very concerned that I received no notification that this item was frozen, and I have already spoken to the governor’s chief of staff about his lack of transparency on this issue and his impacts to municipalities, regardless if they are small or large,” Danielsen told the Council.

“Even though the governor froze this money, it is in the budget, $1.1 million specifically for Franklin Township,” he said. “I promise you I will continue to push and discuss for the full restoration of the funding that was set aside for Franklin.”

The brook’s restoration work is long-overdue, Danielsen said.

“The current stream channel and bank erosion has now created bank escarpments of up to eight feet high and has already migrated into the backyards of eight homes,” he said. “The escarpments are already threatening to destroy some buildings and structures and fencing along previously stable banks of that stream.”

“While there is currently funding to pay for all of his frozen projects throughout all the corners of New Jersey, the governor signaled his unwillingness to work with his political party leaders to seek a reasonable resolution,” Danielsen said.

“I would like to see that money unfrozen because I believe the state could pay for it now and it would be a big benefit for Franklin Township,” he said.

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