Township officials hosted a public meeting with representatives from the
The funding is coming from the
And that's why the two agencies have teamed up to help the flood victims, since each agency has different areas of expertise, said
Bekanich welcomed a group of about 30 residents to the meeting, noting that they might recognize him because he was the director of the
PEMA Hazard Mitigation Officer
Hughes said that in addition to buying the homes of flood plain residents who face the risk of being flooded again, the funding can also be used for relocation costs, assistance with the down payment on a new home, interest rate subsidies and loan guarantees for disaster victims.
The CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds are designated for communities with "significant unmet recovery needs," Hughes said.
Enrico said the DCED-DR funding program is focusing on three other communities in addition to
The first question posed by a resident was whether flood insurance rates would continue to increase every year until they reached about
Bekanich said his agency is not responsible for setting the premiums, but he said he's heard that premiums would continue to increase annually until they reach a maximum of
He said the rates are rising because the federal government can no longer afford to subsidize the flood insurance program.
Bekanich said some regulations "vary from agency to agency, and what may be considered by
Bekanich said any
Some residents complained that they did much of the rehabilitative work themselves or with the help of family and friends, so they don't have receipts.
"You've brought it back up to the appraised value. Why are you making them come up with receipts if you have an appraised value showing that the home was fixed?" asked one man who declined to give his name.
Bekanich said he understood the man's points and he wouldn't dispute whether the federal rules were right or wrong, "but those are the regulations we have to deal with."
Bekanich also said the homeowners who sign up to participate in the program are under no obligation to accept the buyout offered. "You can walk away at any time," up until an agreement accepting an offer is signed, he said.
Conrad said any flood victim homeowners who did not attend the meeting Tuesday but think they might be interested in participating in this round of buyouts should call the township office at 570-779-5388 as soon as possible to express their interest in participation and provide their name, address and phone number.
Hughes said officials would determine if a property is eligible for buyout based on the address provided and would then send out some initial paperwork to eligible applicants.
He said individual appointments would be set up with all eligible applicants to discuss their needs and begin the process of determining how much and what kinds of financial assistance could be provided.
Conrad said the federal government has bought out about 75 properties in the township flood plain since the
After a flood plain property is purchased by
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