Some Benton, Ark., Residents Hoping for Federal Buyout

November 3, 2009

Some residents of a flood-prone neighborhood in Benton, Ark., are waiting and hoping for a federal buyout of their homes.

City officials applied for grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard-mitigation program after a storm in April stranded residents. The city and the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District are also putting together a plan to bulldoze the homes.

City engineer Gail Mainard says the homes should never have been built in what is a floodway. But the area was developed in 1978 before the current flood-plain maps the city uses.

A private appraisal group estimates the values of the six homes at between $100,00 and $168,000.

The FEMA program would require the city to pay 25 percent of the more than $1 million project.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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