Preparedness & Recovery

W.Va., Commissioners to Contemplate Buy-Out Plan for Flood-Prone Homes

The county has a three-phase plan to purchase homes from flood-prone areas in the county using FEMA buy-out grant monies.

by Jessica Farrish, The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. / October 3, 2017

(TNS) - At the regular meeting of Raleigh County, W.Va., Commission this morning, Raleigh Commission President Byrd White and commissioners Dave Tolliver and Kay Epling aim to advance construction plans for a new elevator at the original Raleigh Courthouse and to protect local citizens who live in flood plains.

Tolliver said Monday that under new business, commissioners will discuss current goals under the FEMA Buyout Program which allows the county to help citizens whose homes are in flood plains.

The county has a three-phase plan to purchase homes from flood-prone areas in the county using FEMA buy-out grant monies. Tolliver said Phase One allows purchase of homes in Crab Orchard, Hodgkiss and the Fairdale area, and Phase Two protects Daniels and Beaver. Phase Three will impact homes located along Route 3.

FEMA has allocated funding for phases one and two, Tolliver said. The money is sent from Washington DC to the Department of Homeland Security in Charleston and then to Raleigh County.

“The grant has been approved,” Tolliver explained. “If the money is there, we will just approve to go ahead and buy these houses in Phase One and Two.”

The Commission plan today to approve sending documents to Charleston to draw down the FEMA funds, he added.

“Once the houses have been bought, we will go in and tear them down and then the property is, basically, community property,” he said.

The grants are $700,000 to $800,000 each, Tolliver added.

“We do it every year,” he reported. “There’s so many homes in Raleigh County that gets flooded every time there’s rain.”

During time on a second agenda item, listed as the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Grant application, commissioners will approve a bid by an elevator company to construct a $100,000 elevator in the courthouse, replacing the original one.

“That elevator has been in there, probably since the courthouse was built,” said Tolliver.

He said the grant will pay for 80 percent of the project, while the county will cover the remainder.

Commission meets at 10 a.m. in the Commission Office, located at 116 1/2 N. Heber Street in Beckley.

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©2017 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)

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