The historic flood waters that rose from the Passaic River in late August, engulfing Memorial Park, caused an estimated $250,000 in damages, manager Tom Metzler revealed Tuesday.
He said the losses were not reimbursable because the borough did not have flood insurance on the property.
From his own research, Metzler said it appeared the borough cancelled flood insurance on the facility around 2000-2001, after portable trailers were installed on the property following Tropical Storm Floyd.
"The borough got permission for those trailers to be put there by DEP in a flood zone, because we...indicated that when we were expecting a flood, we were going to pull them out of there," Metzler said.
However, once bathrooms and gas lines were installed underneath the trailers, moving them became an impossibility.
Metzler said FEMA no longer pays 75 percent of flood-related losses in instances where a facility was not covered by flood insurance with the guarantee that flood insurance will be purchased going forward.
The agency's new policy on uninsured facilities in flood zones, he said, is to pick up the remainder of costs after deducting the maximum insurance coverage that would have been available, which in this case was $500,000, or two times more than the borough's losses.
There are some hopeful signs, however, Metzler said.
Because FEMA does pay for the temporary relocation of services, he said the agency may foot some of the $31,681 in rental costs associated with the temporary trailers the borough expects to bring in this pool season to replace the ones permanently damaged by the flood.
Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski said it was also worth checking with the county about the possibility of "loaning" one of their trailers for a nominal cost.
"We at the county in our OEM area seem to have a substantial number of trailers," Trawinski said. "I don’t know if we have one that we could loan to the borough for a dollar...but we’ve supported other municipalities on requests for temporary facilities like this."
On another positive note, Metzler said 75 percent of costs to repair damages to pool's retaining walls will be reimbursed by FEMA, and that the borough would be reimbursed for damages to the chlorine building, because it had purchased insurance on that facility.