We learned last night that the boardwalk funding will come through FEMA utilizing the Hazard Mitigation Funding Under Section 406 (Stafford Act).
Section 406 provides guidance on the use of hazard mitigation discretionary funding available and is used as a guide by all personnel responsible for the administration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program.
What FEMA is saying is that the boardwalk has a parks/recreation designation. FEMA is looking at what it will cost to replace the boardwalk and rebuild it so that it can withstand damage in the event of a future storm. What program 406 allows them to do is to look at alternatives to the materials and engineering that make up the boardwalk itself. They are not looking at it as a barrier that may offer protection to the city. No barrier considered.
For example, if it was to be replaced using the pine stringers and board we used before it might cost $18 million (hypothetical number). Also considered is that this wood has a life of 4-7 years then requires replacement. If annual maintenance on the boardwalk was $2 million, over 50 years you may spend an additional $100 million in manual repairs and wood replacement.
If the boardwalk was constructed of (hypothetical) Ipe, Brazilian hard wood, and cement it may have a life of 50 years and cost $30 million. With cement and hard wood the boardwalk would be expected to withstand certain forces of nature. Section 406 can consider funding the increased cost due to the hazard mitigation guidelines.
Get smart about the 406 guidelines so you are knowledgeable about what we can ask for and how we can best protect ourselves.