Maryland officials say federal grant money for state residents whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy won’t go to those who live on Smith Island.
Officials said this week that Somerset County would receive $8.6 million for recovery efforts.
Of that sum, total, $5 million will go toward rehabilitating and elevating houses in Crisfield and other areas affected by the massive storm.
However, officials say none of the funds will be directed to Smith Island, which studies have shown is sinking.
Instead, $2 million will be utilized for buyouts on the island.
County officials weren’t pleased with having to cut Smith Island off the eligibility list, but there was nothing they could do about it, according to Gary Pusey, the county’s planning director.
“That was entirely a HUD decision,” he said. “They did not want to put money into rehabbing houses there.”
The county is also considering offering financial incentives to those who take buyouts and move elsewhere within the county.