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Pottawattamie County moves forward with flood buyout program

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 23:17:05-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — People with flood-damaged homes and land in Pottawattamie County are still in limbo almost a year later. They're waiting to learn whether they'll be eligible for a buyout program.

County and State officials met with concerned residents to see who is interested and to share the next steps of this process. The meeting was the first phase in trying to allocate funds from the federal, state and county levels for residents potentially participating in the buyout program.

Participants were asked to fill out paper work allowing their property to be appraised.

Once the county has the appraisals finished, they will add that information into the grant application and send it to the state and FEMA.

Matt Wyant with the Pottawattamie County Planning and Development Board says the process is sound, however the unknown amount of money from the state and federal level makes it hard to budget.

"Not knowing what the state and federal level funding levels are coming at us, it makes it a little hard for us at the county level to gauge how much money we have to put into the program," Wyant said.

He adds this is a voluntary buyout process, and wants residents to know they can back-out at any point.

Flood victims were able to ask questions and raise concerns of potential outcomes.

"I asked a question that really needs to be clarified and that is, if we take the buyout does this inhibit our rights to continue the litigation against the Corp of Engineers and no one seems to have the answer to that," a flood victim said.

Wyant says, typically, 75% of funding comes from the federal level, 10% from the state level and the remainder will come from the local level.

People interested in appraisals need to have the proper paper filled out by February 14th.