DOH commissioner cautions communities of potential loss of federal funding

Today, Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein sent letters to the chief elected officials of eight shoreline communities, who received funding under the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, also known as the Superstorm Sandy recovery program. Following this week’s snow storm, which resulted in some localized flooding along the Connecticut coastline, Commissioner Klein felt it was important to remind Mayors and First Selectmen of the federally imposed timeline for expending these awards so that they will be able to complete their infrastructure upgrades.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates that all funding under this program must be fully expended within two years of executing a contract with the state.

Twelve municipalities received funding under the CDBG-DR program to make critical upgrades to their local infrastructure following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and eight of those municipalities are considered to be “behind schedule,” meaning that they have missed critical deadlines, by not demonstrating sufficient progress as outlined in their contract agreements. These grants were awarded directly to the municipalities and are separate from the individual grants awarded to residents so they can rebuild their homes.  Projects range in scope and size and the chief elected officials were informed at the execution of their contracts that they must complete these upgrades within two years or the federal government could recapture the funding.

“Superstorm Sandy will go down in Connecticut history as one of the worst storms to hit the region,” said DOH Commissioner Klein.  “This storm not only damaged homes but also a significant portion of our state’s shoreline infrastructure.  We were fortunate in Connecticut to receive $159 million from the federal government to assist homeowners as well as municipalities with their repairs.  In addition to the awards given to homeowners affected by this storm, the CDBG–DR program, overseen by the Department of Housing, awarded funding to municipalities in Fairfield, New Haven, and New London counties to make repairs to their damaged infrastructure and to assist them in their planning efforts for future storms.  Many of these communities have yet to begin the process of drawing down these funds, which is why I am cautioning local mayors and first selectmen that if they do not act soon, they run the risk of losing this funding.”

Chief elected officials are urged to act quickly and finish their projects, or risk losing these federal funds.

The following communities were awarded funding to make critical upgrades and have yet to expend any of their grants:

Fairfield $300,000 Pine Creek Dike Expansion 3/17/2018
Fairfield $74,500 W.P.C.F. Outfall Pipe 9/6/2018
TOTAL: $374,500
Milford $503,500 Gulf Beach Breakwater Reconstruction 1/29/2018
Milford $1,180,480 Morningside Revetment Reconstruction 1/29/2018
Milford $195,000 Essential Generators 2/18/2018
Milford $225,000 Crescent Beach Study 2/24/2018
Milford $275,000 Gulf Street and Welch's Point Road Study 2/24/2018
Milford $525,000 Walnut and Wildemere Beach Study 2/29/2018
Milford $150,000 Pelham Street Planning and Design 3/8/2018
TOTAL: $3,053,980
New Haven $1,900,000 East Shore Erosion Control 9/30/2017
New Haven $4,000,000 Union Avenue Mitigation and Resiliency 9/30/2017
TOTAL: $5,900,000
New London $120,000 Shaw's Cove Pump Station 3/30/2018
New London $1,480,875 Drainage Improvements 10/27/2018
TOTAL: $1,600,875
Stonington $150,000 Town of Stonington Coastal Resilience Plan 3/1/2018
TOTAL: $150,000
West Haven $278,000 Resiliency Plan and Wastewater Treatment Facility Outfall 8/25/2018
West Haven $1,200,000 Beach Street and 1st Avenue Reconstruction 9/30/2017
West Haven $525,000 Old Field Creek Dredging 9/30/2017
West Haven $1,650,000 Beach Street and First Avenue Reconstruction 9/30/2017
TOTAL: $3,653,000

The following communities were awarded funding to make critical upgrades and have expended only a portion of their grants:

Fairfield $100,000 $44,640 Fairfield Beach Engineered Design 1/25/2018
Fairfield $200,000 $148,900 Riverside Drive Coastal Resiliency 8/30/2018
Fairfield $300,000 $276,008.66 S. Benson Storm Water Pump Station and Drainage 8/30/2018
Fairfield $100,000 $91,000 Downtown Using Green Infrastructure - Roadways 8/30/2018
Fairfield $607,500 $189,432.72 Pike Creek Culvert Upgrade 2/29/2018
Fairfield $225,000 $216,102.08 Penfield Beach Resiliency Improvements - Bulkhead 9/15/2018
Fairfield $2,316,000 $2,253,637.71 Wastewater Treatment Plant Resiliency 5/31/2018
Fairfield $2,500,000 $2,068,330.40 Water Pollution Control Micro-Grid 5/31/2018
TOTAL $6,348,500 $5,288,052
Milford $638,250 $617,300 Calf Pen Meadow/Beachland Avenue Resiliency 2/2/2018
Milford $1,726,150 $1,586,896.55 Bayview Beach Area Flooding Control 2/2/2018
Milford $501,537 $50,576.10 Milford Point Road Flooding Control 2/2/2018
TOTAL $2,865,937 $2,254,773
New Haven $342,000 $163,710.30 Bulkhead Engineering and Design 6/30/2017