Town leaders in three Connecticut communities held a public meeting to try and help homeowners who are victims to the state’s crumbling concrete epidemic.
On Tuesday evening, the Vernon council chambers will be packed with people whose largest investment is crumbling beneath their feet.
Local leaders hope tonight can help them get on a path towards receiving the resources they need.
Victims from three towns, Vernon, Stafford, and Ellington, have been ravaged by this crisis and are invited to gather information on how to apply for both federal and state funding that could provide some relief.
The federal money will allow folks to get their homes tested to find out if they have the crumbling concrete foundations, which are being caused by a specific mineral that tainted concrete from one local quarry.
The state funding, $20 million a year, will be used to actually repair homes that are in danger of collapsing.
Vernon Mayor Dan Champagne says victims have strength in numbers and once more people come forward the state and federal government will be more motivated to provide the help that’s so desperately needed.
“It’s going to affect the whole state at some point. When you have small communities where half the homes may have this, I mean money’s going to have to come from the state to help them out. Not that we want this to happen, but that’s why we are looking for a solution a long-term solution,” Champagne said.
Champagne believes the most likely solution will be more federal dollars.
The need is likely in the billions.
The residents who attended the meeting described the situation like something out of a horror film.
"Your walls are coming apart," said Naomi Barretta.
The victim's biggest investment is now falling apart right under their feet.
"I'm 70-years-old. I just want to rest, I worked all my life to pay for my home," said Janet Johnson of Vernon.
No one at Tuesday's meeting could answer the question of when this issue was going to get fixed, but the towns are teaming up to tackle the problem.
Leaders from the three towns will submit a joint application to the federal government asking for a chunk of the $200 million earmarked for testing.
"The first step is to come forward and get registered with the state. Get tested, which will verify it and then hopefully get your name involved," said Champagne.
Tuesday's meeting was just a start, but some victims say the progress gives them hope.
Everyone who spoke at the meeting supported the joint application and nearly 50 homeowners signed a petition stating they are in favor of it.
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