RED HOOK — The city has taken $50 million in federal funds away from Red Hook's proposed flood protection system to help pay for the beleagured Build It Back program — and replaced those dollars with city capital, officials said.
The proposed "Integrated Flood Protection System" had initially been funded for $100 million, with $50 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's [HUD] Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program and $50 million from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
But last month, city officials submitted plans to move half a billion dollars into its much-maligned Built It Back program from HUD's $4.21 billion in Hurricane Sandy aid.
More than $150 million originally earmarked for a "Raised Shorelines" plan, which includes flood protection on the Rockaway peninsula and Red Hook, DNAinfo New York previously reported.
Michael Shaikh, of the mayor's office of recovery and resiliency, confirmed the movement of funds. Red Hook's flood protection project has been refunded in full, he said this week.
The city recently presented three early-stage concepts for Red Hook's $100 million flood protection system that is being planned as a series of permanent and deployable feature to reduce the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise. Those features could include a sea wall, movable gates and street elevations.
The funding for the project has come under scrutiny already this year — Rep. Nydia Velazquez criticized the city and state for initially promising $200 million toward the system, but later shrinking that amount to $100 million.
According to a city document presented in Red Hook last week, the feasibility study is currently underway. Officials plan to present the project findings at the end of the year.