NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The pipe which leads into the water at Green Harbor Beach was installed by public works crews as a temporary fix for a flooding problem. But the city now wants to pay for a permanent fix using Superstorm Sandy money as long as it can do so before that money gets washed away.
New London is one of eight shoreline communities to get a letter from state housing commissioner Evonne Klein saying they need to use federal funds issued after the devastating storm before they lose them.
“When I received the letter from the commissioner yesterday obviously I said oh sounds ominous,” said New London Mayor Mike Passero.
But when the mayor looked into the three projects being funded by close to $2 million he found Shaws Cove pump station was upgraded and Bank Street drains are being improved. Only drainage improvements at Green Harbor Beach are running a little behind schedule.
“It’s just a sheet of water and creates a waterfall down over the wall onto the beach and washes the beach away,” said Passero.
That deadline though is still a year and a half away in October 2018. In fact only a few shoreline projects had looming deadline dates in March and June of this year.
“There’s no concern on the city’s part about the funding for these three projects,” said Mayor Passero.
Waterford’s first selectman Dan Steward isn’t worried either.
“We did meet with the project manager recently just a couple weeks ago and everything seemed to be in order so the letter was somewhat of a surprise,” said Steward.
Waterford received $175,000 and part of that grant will look at how climate change will affect the areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy like the dunes at the town beach which had to be completely rebuilt.
“We have over four miles of Waterfront that we have to be exposed and we need to make sure that those people who live on that area are kept safe,” said Steward.
Stonington is using the grant money to come up with a coastal resilience plan. First Selectman Rob Simmons tells News 8 that effort is also on track to make the deadline.
Commissioner Klein says the state received a total $159 million in federal funding for the municipal projects.
Along with New London, Stonington and Waterford, Fairfield, Milford, New Haven, West Haven and Westport are in danger of losing the funds.