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Sandy recovery plan includes Smith Island buyouts

Sandy recovery plan includes Smith Island buyouts

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PRINCESS ANNE — A draft plan for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Somerset County includes $1 million for property buyouts on Smith Island, despite local officials’ opposition.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports that Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner wrote to county commissioners this week explaining that funds were left in the plan because of differing views among islanders. Skinner says state officials are concerned about the needs of people who may want to move.

The buyout option remains in the plan, but the amount was cut in half and the remaining $1 million was shifted to housing rehabilitation.

The state’s plan for $8.6 million in federal funds includes $6 million for housing rehabilitation both on the mainland and on Smith Island and $1 million for economic development.

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