HEARTLAND FLOOD: Pottawattamie County looks into flood buyouts

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- Authorities say they are gathering information that will set the stage for pursuing flood buyout programs in unincorporated areas of northeast Pottawattamie County, the City of Oakland the the City of Council Bluffs.

Doug Reed, the Director of Emergency Management, said, “a listing of known impacted areas and properties were provided to Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to conduct a financial analysis on the maximum potential costs for a buyout program within the county.

“What we need to compile now is a list of property owners that are interested in participating in the program. A buyout program is completely voluntary on part of the property owner.”

That list will be used to, among other things, determine program eligibility and give officials a better understanding of what the actual cost could be.

The owners of residential, agricultural, or commercial properties located within a special flood hazard area and who were affected by the 2019 flooding are asked to review general program information and submit an interest form online. That can be done here.

Once this list is compiled, the governing boards or councils of the jurisdictions involved will formally decide whether to participate in the
program. If they do, they will then set up program priorities for potential buyout offers.

Property owners who meet the program criteria will be asked to submit a Statement of Voluntary Transaction which will then get their property listed on the official applications submitted to state and federal program authorities.

Property owners must submit their information to the online registry no later than 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, October 31, 2019. Submission of information does not commit the property owner to selling their property and owners can choose to withdraw from the program at any point prior to final execution of property transaction agreements.

Property owners submitting information on the interest registry will be contacted regarding their program status and next steps.