$28,865 coming for buyout of flooded homes in Kings

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Four flood-damaged homes in Kings will be bought with a $38,486 Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant the city has received, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen learned Monday.

City grants coordinator Marcia Weaver said the city is contributing $9,621, or a 25 percent match toward the grant, with FEMA contributing $28,865, or 75 percent.

City officials in November applied for a $150,000 buyout grant.

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Weaver said the Phase I grant, involves homeowners whose homes in the city’s flood plain, or 1 percent area, were inundated by the Spring 2011 flood and determined by city building officials to have had substantial damage of 50 percent or more of the home’s value

Weaver said the grant money will be used to buy out homes on Kings Crossing, Curry Street, Browns Alley and Davenport Alley. Six people initially applied for the buy under Phase I. The city has about $110,000 from a 2008 buyout grant, but she said Monday that the city cannot use the 2008 grant funds for 2012.

She said the city is awaiting approval from FEMA on its application for a Phase II grant, which covers homeowners who had rental homes in the flood zone or whose homes were in the flood zone and did not have substantial damage.

Residents in Ford and Kings fled their homes in early May as the Mississippi River rose to record heights at Vicksburg, cresting at 57.1 feet on May 19, or 14.1 feet above flood stage and 0.9 foot above the Great Flood of 1927.

City officials will make homeowners an offer based on an appraisal of their home’s value before the flood. Any aid the homeowner receives after the flood will be deducted from the settlement. Weaver said the buyout is voluntary and the homeowner does not have to accept the settlement.