State DNR, Dane County Partner to Assist Flood-Weary Homeowners Along Fish Lake
July 13, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
More than a $1.1-Million Available to Purchase Flood-Prone Properties
Thanks to a generous grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a new financial commitment from Dane County, property owners along Fish Lake who have been affected by severe flooding for the past several years will soon be eligible for help.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is awarding a $650,000 grant to the Town of Roxbury and Dane County is providing $362,000 in funding to purchase flood-prone properties from willing landowners on Fish Lake Road. The grant program is completely voluntary and used to purchase damaged homes from willing sellers. The county will work with the township on identifying property owners who may be interested in this buyout opportunity.
“Dane County is happy to partner with the DNR to help a number of Fish Lake homeowners hard-hit by high water the past several years,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “These dollars will help a number of residents get out of their damaged homes and into drier properties far from Fish Lake’s flooding.”
Removing homes from areas that frequently flood is the most cost effective way of ensuring they aren’t damaged by future high waters. Given the unpredictability of water levels on lakes like Fish Lake, more costly alternatives like raising the foundations and elevations of homes may not prove effective.
Offers for purchase will be prioritized based on how severely damaged the homes are. Properties that are purchased will have all the structures taken down and then county staff, working with the DNR, will plant vegetation to help protect the shoreline and restore native plant life.
In addition to being to help flood-weary residents along Fish Lake, another benefit of this effort will be increased public access to Fish Lake.
Fish Lake is located in the northwest Dane County Township of Roxbury. It is a popular fishing spot and is one of the deepest lakes in the entire state of Wisconsin. There are more than 15,000 lakes in the state and only 156 of them are deeper than Fish Lake.