Four Months Ago: Habitat for Humanity repairs Hurricane Sandy-affected homes

In May, the Atlantic County Habitat for Humanity received help from a national organization to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

It was a new direction for the organization, which traditionally did new construction. But now it hopes to do more work in the community.

Drew Melfi, construction supervisor, said Habitat renovated 11 homes in Ventnor over three days with 150 volunteers from Discovery Connections. They did some of the primary work including flooring, insulation and drywall.

Habitat has had volunteers do the rest of the work since, and so far nine of the 11 homes are complete, Melfi said. The other two should be done by the end of the month, he said.

Executive Director Kara Kattau said the organization is now devoting time to doing critical repairs of homes since there is such a need post-Hurricane Sandy.

Habitat is working on a partnership with the American Red Cross and trying to identify homes in the area in need of critical repairs.

"We're definitely having a hard time trying to find these people," she said.

The organization has traditionally built new single-family homes - averaging about one a year in the past 15 years. Kattau, who was appointed to her position this year, said it hopes to greatly increase that and do four or five new-construction homes a year.

Anyone with a need for repairs can call the Habitat for Humanity office at 609-487-9472.

Ten Months Ago: Legislators seek interchange on Garden State Parkway

In November, Republican 9th district legislators Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove requested the New Jersey Turnpike Authority do a cost estimate for a full interchange at exit 40 on the Garden State Parkway, which would connect with the White Horse Pike.

The addition has been requested by many local officials and residents to help businesses on the pike and create more transportation and evacuation routes in Atlantic City.

On Sept. 3, the authority said the firm Stantec Consulting Services of Mount Laurel, Burlington County, completed a traffic analysis and a final report will be available at the end of the year.

The legislators have also introduced legislation that would permit the use of Casino Reinvestment Development Authority money to finance the the project.

Ten Months Ago: Hurricane Sandy closes Brigantine library

The Brigantine branch of the Atlantic County Library System had to vacate its building at 201 15th St. South due to flooding.

Branch Manager Beth Bliss said the facility's collection, including about 48,000 books, DVDs and other materials, was spared, but the downstairs restrooms, elevators and walls received damage that the city had to repair.

The library worked out of a temporary site at the Brigantine Community Center using its WiFi service for a makeshift computer lab and storing about 1,700 items on site in the small room, Bliss said.

The staff worked daily to bring books over and swap in new materials, and patrons were able to get books from other branches through the library system, Bliss said.

"It's been quite a process," she said. "A lot of people helped out to make it work for our patrons."

But now the building has been repaired and the library will open back up today.

For more information call the library at 609-266-0110.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

@landaupressofac on Twitter