A Portion of City's Potential FEMA Funding at Risk


PATERSON, NJ – A standoff over overtime payments stemming from last summer’s floods may cost Paterson about $165,000 in federal disaster reimbursement, city officials said.

About $209,000 in flood-related overtime for rank-and-file employees has been on hold since last October when the City Council refused to sign off on the checks, demanding documentation to substantiate the work performed. The administration has not yet provided that information, council members said.

Sign Up for E-News

The city, however, has included the $209,000 in its application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking reimbursement for flood-related expenses, officials said. FEMA reimburses local governments for 80-percent of their approved expenses in response to declared disasters, so Paterson is seeking about $165,000 reimbursement for the $209,000.

FEMA has told Paterson that it will not get reimbursed for the $209,000 overtime unless the money gets paid to city workers, said Business Administrator Charles Thomas. The deadline is the end of March, said Paterson Emergency Management Director Glenn Brown.

Meanwhile, the unions representing city police officers and firefighters – the two groups of workers who would receive the bulk of the $209,000 -  have filed grievances last year to try to force the city to make the payments. Those union challenges remain in litigation.

Thomas warned the city council at its meeting on March 6 that Paterson “will have to pay double” if the unions prevail on the grievances.

“We’ll just have to find double the reduction in somebody’s budget,’’ responded City Council Finance Chairman Kenneth Morris.

“We have to be sure the taxpayers’ money is being used correctly,’’ said Morris.

The city council’s refusal to approve the $209,000 in overtime came in the aftermath of the disclosure that the mayor and top city officials had received overtime for flood-related work.

The disputed $209,000 in overtime is just a fraction of the city's total application with FEMA.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Memorial Hall, Paterson

Cost Free Courses


Sat, March 3, 12:00 PM

The Bethwood, Totowa

Have-A-Heart Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Giving Back

With Shafer the Lines of Communication are Always Open

February 15, 2018

Dear Editor:

I find myself in a juxtaposition right now.

On the one hand, I did question the process. On the other hand, I am fully supportive of Ms. Shafer.

I want to go on record as saying that I am completely confident in her leadership. I’ll briefly explain my reason.

When I served on the school board I was able to always reach Ms. Shafer. The lines of communication were ...

Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders Introduces 2018 Budget

February 15, 2018

(Paterson, New Jersey) – On February 13, 2018, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced the 2018 budget with conservative revenue projections, improved reserve levels, and significant investment in infrastructure improvements. The 2018 budget reflects fiscally sound financial policies, strong budgetary flexibility, proactive increases to manage volatile expense line items, ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...