|By Scott Smith, Kokomo Tribune, Ind.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Requests for bids on the nine properties went out last week, and this spring could see the end of a saga which saw homes lost to repeated flooding, in areas planning officials now concede was never suitable for building.
Most of the homes were built more than 30 years ago, well before the
But even in 1967, maps were on file at the
For whatever reason, builders
"Personally, I think nobody bothered to check the map [before the subdivisions were approved]," then-plan commission director
Current plan commission director
In 2003, Boise had identified 13 homes in the county which were subject to repeated flooding due to construction in the flood plain. His original plan was to match federal grant funding with a local match.
But the local match was estimated at around
In the meantime, the owners were largely forced to either stay put or abandon the homes. Then several years back, county officials began pursuing state grants to cover the match.
"When I took over, we just had a huge problem with the match from the state," Sheline said. "I couldn't tell you how many letters and emails I've sent back and forth. Every time you thought you had everything they wanted, they'd tell you they needed something else."
Using county money as a match, county officials did manage to take down three of the homes on the original list, Boise said.
The remaining 10 homes remained stuck in limbo until now. Sheline said one of the homeowners decided not to participate in the program, leaving nine homes to be demolished.
Demolition bids are due
"We certainly didn't have the tools back then," Sheline said. "If we could have pinpointed the flood areas back then like we can do in todays world, this wouldn't happen. And if we keep our flood maps updated, we'll hopefully never have a situation like that again."
Back in 2003,
"As far as I know, we abided by all of the rules they gave us," he said in the 2003 interview.
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