Questions about Proposed Flood Buy Out

QueProposed Flood Buy Outstions about Marble Hill’s

From the Southeast Missourian:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

 

(Photo)

On January 12, 2009 the City of Marble Hill, Missouri will hold a Public Hearing about a proposed flood buy-out for 6 properties adjacent to the creek and one that lies within its flood plain.

On December 19th, 2008 the Southeast Missourian published an online article that I submitted which stated (in part) that:

“The City of Marble Hill will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 12, 2009at 5:30pm at City Hall to discuss the City’s submission of an Emergency application for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. In order to qualify as an emergency under regulations of the State of Missouri, the project will be evaluated using each of the following criteria: Seriousness, Immediacy,Uniqueness, Lack of Sufficient Local Funds. As part of the hearing process, citizens will be asked to comment on the propsed project. The City needs as much local participation as possible in order to reflect the true desires of the community as a whole, as well as the comments relating to the proposed project application.

The City is proposing to apply for grant funding to be used as the 25% local match required by SEMA for the flood buyout of 6 local properties. The City is applying for approximately $80,000 in CDBG funds.

For more information on the proposed project, contact Gary Shrum, Administrative Assistant Gary Shrum at: 573-238-3622″

I called Administrative Assistant Shrum this afternoon and said that through the CDBG the City will be able to purchase 5 properties on the old Lutesville side of the creek , and along mainstreet, as well as an additional property located on Plutarch St., to be develped for recreational use.”

Since the article’s publication I have been asked many questions in regards to the project.

Examples include:

” Why aren’t the businesses in the flood plain included in the proposed project?”

“Why aren’t the mobile homes located next to the proposed buyout property being included?”

and

“What restrictions will be placed on the property once it is purchased”.

I found answers to the questions at the SEMA website located at the following internet address:

http://sema.dps.mo.gov/FREQUENTLY%20ASKED%20QUESTIONS%20April%202008.pdf

For starters according to SEMA:

“It is called a “Voluntary” flood buyout program because participants (i.e., the Federal Government, the State Government, the Local Government and the Property Owner) must voluntarily participate in the program. The Federal Government cannot force the State Government to participate and vice versa. Likewise, the State Government cannot force the Local Government to participate, etc. Moreover, the City or County cannot use the community’s power of eminent domain to purchase property with federal funds; these must be strictly voluntary acquisitions of the property.”

SEMA lists the following requirements for properties to eligible in the FEMA flood buy-out program:

“In Missouri, due to the lack of any federal or state recognized Indian tribe, the eligible applicants for these voluntary flood buyouts includes only communities (i.e., a City or County) that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), unless the City or County has not yet been mapped. Limited funding, the current widespread need for flood buyouts in multiple communities across the state, and competing interests for other mitigation projects such as school tornado safe rooms, community owned bridge and low water crossing replacements, and most importantly, the need to assign a higher priority to residential structures in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents who are at risk and have nowhere else to live precludes SEMA from funding the acquisition of commercial and other types of non-residential properties at this time (i.e., vacation homes, etc.)”

On the subject of mobile homes SEMA states:

“Mobile homes are considered personal property, and as such the type of offer is determined on a case by case basis. Factors to be considered include, but may not be limited to whether the owner of the mobile home also owns the land and other factors such as whether the mobile home owner wishes to retain the mobile home and relocate it in lieu of demolition.”

Also according to the SEMA website…

“Communities must accept responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the proper use of acquired property as “Open Space.” Generally, allowable open space uses for acquired property include, but are not limited to, recreation; preservation; cultivation; grazing; camping (if adequate warning and evacuation time is available); non-commercial, temporary, open storage of vehicles that are easily moveable (such as recreational vehicles); and unimproved permeable parking lots. See Phase IV for more detail on allowable use of acquired property. Conservation easements (Note: Simply defined, an easement is a right of passage over someone else’s land. However, an easement can be used to prevent the owner from doing certain things) may also be eligible.

FEMA flood buyout program acquired property must be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity for uses compatible with open space, recreational, or wetlands management practices. No new structure(s) can be built on the property except for a public facility open on all sides and functionally related to a designated open space or recreational use; A public rest room that is wet floodproofed; or A structure compatible with open space, recreational, or wetlands management use and proper floodplain management policies and practices, which FEMA’s Administrator approves in writing before construction of the structure begins.”

 

I encourage those that are interested or affected by the proposed flood buy out to call City Hall @ 573-238-3622, you will also want to make plans to attend the meeting on January 12, 2009 at City Hall, 5:30 pm.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I,

Marble Hill, Missouri

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