Mott residents hear post-flood optionsMOTT —Residents may have the option to sell their homes damaged by the recent spring flooding to the city for demolition or relocation, among other options, an area official said Wednesday.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
Residents may have the option to sell their homes damaged by the recent spring flooding to the city for demolition or relocation, among other options, an area official said Wednesday.
Approximately 20 people gathered in the Mott Armory to listen to information regarding funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The program would allow the city to purchase residences damaged by the flooding and either demolish them or relocate them out of the flood zone, said Ken Davis with the Roosevelt-Custer Regional Council. Other options for residents include elevating the property or floodproofing, but Davis said FEMA’s preferred option would be relocation or demolition.
“We’re reacting to a flood, but it’s a futuristic project. FEMA doesn’t want to continually make payments on flooded properties,” Davis said. “They look at this as being proactive to remove this hazard.”
Hettinger County was declared a federal disaster area due to damage caused by flooding of the Cannonball River early this spring, leaving officials open to pursue some kind of assistance to help residents move out of hazardous areas of the city.
Similar assistance was given to Mott in 1997 during a flooding situation, Davis said.
Those who live in the western part of the city and are in the floodplain are eligible for the program, Davis said.
The program will help people move out of a hazardous situation, but could be difficult for long-time residents, said Troy Mosbrucker, Mott mayor.
There are some open lots in town for relocation, but the challenge becomes finding open existing housing, he added.
“We are very short of housing,” Mosbrucker said. “It’d be challenging finding a place.”
Through the program, funding would be available for appraisals and title search, Davis said.
“That property (purchased by the city) then becomes public property and it remains open forever,” Davis said.
Davis estimates about 10 residences within city limits could be eligible, as well as a few outside of city limits. In the situation of the homes outside of the city limits, Davis said a memorandum of understanding between the city and Hettinger County could possibly be made, resulting in the city taking jurisdiction.
No one is forced to sell or move their property and participation is all voluntary, he added.
Environmental impact statements, GPS locations, appraisals and other items are needed to go along with the applications, which are due Nov. 13.
Receiving FEMA funding may not be a cinch, Davis said.
“We are competing against other flood victims of the state too,” Davis said. “It’s my understanding that North Dakota should be getting somewhere between 10 and 20 million. It’s anticipated the decisions will be made by the state some time in March.”
For more information, contact Davis at 701-483-1241.