NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 27, 2013

Islanders plead to rebuild dunes

(Continued)

Joslin said that about 11 houses will have problems, because their parcel is too small for relocation or the structure is too unstable to elevate.

He urged homeowners to come to his office and work with town officials on solutions.

Only one homeowner has expressed an interest to sell the property and leave the island, said Bob Connors, a spokesmen for many homeowners.

Scott MacLeod, manager for MEMA’s mitigation and disaster recovery division, said that financial aid is available for homeowners who want to upgrade and improve their beleaguered homes.

Applications must be originated through the town, not individually, and MacLeod noted that the grants could cover 75 percent of costs if approved.

The applications eventually must go through the state MEMA office, and then the Federal Emergency Management Agency will run a cost-benefit analysis.

MacLeod conceded that much planning and paperwork is required. He also noted that three of the four federal programs that fund this state program are being revised in Washington.

Tarr said that this group, which included all Newbury’s selectmen, Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday and Salisbury Selectman Jerry Klima, will meet again.

No date was announced, and it was clear that all questions and concerns had not been answered regarding this multi-faceted and perilous situation.

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