Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth that appropriates more than $21 million for the restoration of 14 dams across the state was approved today by the General Assembly.

“Making these dams more resilient to storms helps control water levels, prevent flooding and avert the damage that is inevitable when a dam fails. These projects ensure safer communities,” said Schepisi, R – Bergen.

Projects listed in A-3229 access existing monies made available in the Dam, Lake and Stream Project Revolving Loan Fund. These funds are a self-replenishing pool of money, where principal and interest payments from old loans are used to issue new ones. Local governments or private associations and owners of private dams that are co-applicants with local government units are eligible for loans.

“This is ready money that won’t cost taxpayers a dime,” said Auth, R – Bergen, “These are necessary projects, but they are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finance through private lenders. In the future, more dams will be repaired as more money is paid back into the fund.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2013 report card, New Jersey is particularly vulnerable. It is in the top 10 states with dams in need of repair with 217 high-hazard dams.