Residents: Sandy home buyouts caused other problems

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LINDENHURST -

Darlene and Robert Fantel say the view in one direction keeps them in their Lindenhurst home -- but in the other direction they see vacant lots where neighboring homes used to be.

"We are stuck in a state of disaster here," Darlene Fantel says.

Some Lindenhurst residents say a state program that bought out homes damaged from Superstorm Sandy with the goal of turning the properties into parkland has had unintended consequences.

The New York Rising program offered to buy up homes and give the land back to the village after the storm five years ago. But the village has not officially taken ownership of more than 40 lots while it negotiates the transfer with the state.

The village is in part blaming the delay on costs for property maintenance under its limited budget. 

"There are a lot of federal guidelines and state guidelines that you have to follow, that are time consuming, to do the job right," says Douglas Madlon, the village administrator.

Ideas for what to do with the properties include letting neighbors lease them or purchase them as open space. The village board is reviewing those options, Madlon says.

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