Dane County to Help Purchase Flood Prone Properties in Oregon
March 20, 2009
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Village to Receive First Funding from New Dane County Flood Damage Assistance Program
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the county will offer the Village of Oregon financial assistance to purchase homes prone to flooding. Severe flooding in 2007 did significant damage to residences along Florida Avenue in the Village.
Funding for the county contribution toward the purchases will come from the new “Residential Flood Damage Assistance” program Falk created in the 2009 county budget. The intent of the fund is to help communities buyout flood-prone properties.
“This new county flood assistance fund was developed to help communities like Oregon where certain neighborhoods are at risk of recurring flooding,” Falk said. “One way to help prevent devastating floods in the future is to get homes we know are at greatest risk of being damaged by high water out of harm’s way,” Falk said.
“The county contribution has been a significant help in alleviating our Village's problem with flood-prone properties,” Village President Steve Staton said. “This action displays the commitment the County leadership and County Board have to the welfare and safety of the residents of our great county.”
The Village of Oregon is in the final stage of buying six homes that were badly damaged by flooding in August of 2007. Four homes have already been purchased by the Village and the County will assist with the purchase of the fifth and sixth homes.
The homes are located within the floodplain and are close to the Oregon Branch of the Badfish Creek. The village will remove or demolish the homes as they are purchased and will incorporate the sites into the adjacent parkland. The village also plans to develop a bicycle trail in that area that will connect to a proposed regional bicycle and pedestrian trail identified in both village plans and the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan.
While the exact dollar figures won’t be known until appraisals are complete, $167,000 in county assistance may be available for the two homes.
“We thank Kathleen Falk for moving forward to protect flood victims in Dane County areas like Oregon,” said Supervisor Brett Hulsey, Chair of the Lakes and Watersheds Commission. “The reason they call them floodplains is because it is plain that they flood. We appreciate her leadership to move homes out of floodplains and keep from building more homes in harm’s way.”
A resolution authorizing the County assistance will be submitted to the Dane County Board of Supervisors.