Omaha, Neb. (WOWT) Mayor Andy Young is on the cusp of losing the majority of Pacific Junction's population after learning the lifeline he was banking on, is not going to happen.
"It's not the outcome we were hoping for; we were hoping the Governor could come up with funding for deeded property, so we could have a shot at saving the town, as much as we could,” said the mayor, “instead of having 120 or 140 green spaces.”
The green spaces he is referring to are what will be leftover if everyone interested in a FEMA buyout takes one.
Once a property is sold to FEMA it cannot be rebuilt on, stripping the town of those property tax dollars as well as tacking on the burden of maintaining the leftover green space.
Cindy Babb is one of a couple of dozen homeowners working to return to the town.
"Already it looks different, you coming into town, it's a different view,” said Babb. “We'll see what it looks like when it's all said and done (sigh) but it's going to be a long process there.”
Mayor Young is hoping FEMA comes back to property owners soon with an answer as to how much they will payout.
“We'll see how the appraisers come back for people and see if they decide it's not enough, or it's enough and they move on,” said the mayor.
In the meantime, Pacific Junction remains a town in limbo, where neatly cut lawns bump up against the mess of what's been left behind.
Pacific Junction is filing for its FEMA buyouts separate from other parts of Mills County
combined there's a total of about 230 homeowners in the county considering the buyout option.