Westporters received $587K in Sandy mitigation grants
Published 3:41 pm, Thursday, October 9, 2014
Westport residents will be among the first to receive federal Superstorm Sandy Hazard Mitigation grants, according to First Selectman Jim Marpe.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded six Westport residents a total of $587,441 in grants to assist with costs incurred in elevating their homes to protect against future flooding and storms, Marpe said in a press release.
This is the second round of grant awards Westport has received. Under the Hurricane Irene Disaster relief, grants totaling $1,905,802 were awarded for five residential home elevations, three land acquisitions, and a replacement emergency standby generator for the Police Department, he added.
"These new grants will help families that were battered by Irene and Sandy to elevate their homes and make our community more resilient to future storms,'' said Marpe. "Being the first to receive Superstorm Sandy grant awards is quite an accomplishment considering that this funding, targeted for storm-ravaged homeowners, was almost reallocated from Westport by the State for other purposes."
Earlier in the year, the Connecticut Interagency Hazard Mitigation Committee made a decision to allocate all federal Hazard Mitigation Funds from Sandy towards state infrastructure projects, effectively eliminating the possibility that homeowners would receive funds to repair and /or mitigate potential damage from future storms.
However, upon the urging of Marpe, Emergency Management Director Andrew Kingsbury, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, state Rep.Jonathan Steinberg and others, Gov. Dannel Malloy directed the CIHMC to reconvene and reconsider its decision, the release said.
After reconvening, the CIHMC reallocated these funds to homeowners directly affected by Superstorm Sandy. Residents were able to receive up to $100,000 to assist in elevating their homes.
Approximately 24 other Hazard Mitigation grants totaling $2,297,304 have been submitted by Westport and are awaiting a decision by FEMA.
"This is a good day for Westport," Marpe said.
"These grants will help bring relief from some of the personal and physical damage caused by the storms," he added. "It also demonstrates that local government recognizes the needs of its citizens and with strong leadership can effectively lobby with other levels of government to insure proper action which benefits those in need."