Smith Islanders Won't Get Buyouts From Hurricane Relief
No buyouts for home property owners on Smith Island.
The provision has been removed from a Hurricane Sandy recovery plan for Somerset County following overwhelming opposition from state officials.
The announcement by Raymond Skinner, Secretary of Housing and Community Development came as a surprise to the County Commissioners and Smith Islanders during a special meeting yesterday.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that even through the commissioners themselves had asked the state remove the option Skinner said he wanted to leave it in to help those islanders who wanted to leave because of medical or other compelling reasons.
County Administrator Doug Taylor said that the County Commissioners did not want to accept ownership of any properties in addition to caring for the parcels.