Some Local Towns Hoping For Home Buyout Money
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
March 22, 2013
Governor Christie is seeking $250 million in federal funds to purchase homes in flood prone areas of New Jersey.
Local officials in towns where flooding occurs frequently are hoping they’ll get some help.
South River Mayor John Krenzel says Superstorm Sandy caused major flooding in his town, and the river that town is named after produces floodwaters during even minor storms.
“The majority of the people who get flooded regularly, they want to go. They’re tired of it. Irene came two years ago and now it’s Sandy and Sandy was worse. The people can just not afford to keep repairing their homes.”
Krenzel says those homeowners have problems trying to sell because buyers would have to pay high flood insurance premiums.
Pequannock Township manager Dave Holberg says his town has used local and federal funds over the past ten years to buy out 23 homes repeatedly flooded by the Pompton River.
He says 40 more buyouts are scheduled.
“The idea is to try to help people who are severely impacted and who really don’t have many other options because the values of their homes are so minimal at this point because of the flooding. The only way to really move them out of harm’s way is to buy their home and make it open space.”
If the state gets the funding the governor is requesting, Holberg hopes it will be used to purchase flood prone properties around the state.