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Connecticut Officials Reject Sandy Aid Requests For Shoreline Homeowners Looking To Raise Homes

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy surveys shoreline damage from Sandy (file/credit: Governor's Office)

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy surveys shoreline damage from Sandy (file/credit: Governor’s Office)

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GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials have rejected $18 million worth of requests for Superstorm Sandy aid from homeowners along Connecticut’s shoreline who were looking to use the funding to elevate their homes in the face of future storms.

The state sent rejection letters Monday to 94 applicants from Greenwich to East Haven who requested aid to raise their homes under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

According to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the program has $16.6 million available for Connecticut projects.

State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection officials said the money would be better spent improving infrastructure that would protect communities from storm surges.

Projects in the running for the latest round of aid include a seawall project in Bridgeport, improvements to a sewage treatment plant in Milford and a levee upgrade in Fairfield.

A 10-member committee composed of state agency representatives and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities decided to prioritize infrastructure improvement over individual home projects.

“The committee felt that the hardening of infrastructure would provide the greatest benefit for the most number of people with the limited funds available,” said Scott DeVico, a spokesman for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Many residents along Connecticut’s shore are still dealing with Sandy-damaged homes. Those who had their aid applications rejected on Monday weren’t happy with the decision.

Charlotte Schmid’s home in Milford was condemned after Sandy and remains uninhabitable, but her mortgage, tax and insurance bills keep coming.

“I sometimes think, `Why am I even trying?”’ Schmid said. “I’ve been sitting here waiting patiently and complying, and I haven’t seen anything yet.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)