Larimer Co. to buy flood-ravaged properties — The Fort Collins Coloradan

Plume of subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado September 2013 via Weather5280
Plume of subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado September 2013 via Weather5280

From the Fort Collins Coloradan (Nick Coltrain):

The Larimer County Board of Commissioners gave the OK [June 9] for the county’s Community Development Department to move forward with the plan. The properties, all in the Big Thompson Canyon and North Fork areas, were substantially damaged in the floods to the point where they can’t be built upon.

Terry Gilbert, the community development director, emphasized that the program is voluntary. The estimated value of the parcels range from about $10,000 to $30,000, with a total cost estimate of about $1.2 million. The money would come from federal reimbursements for road work the county did in the immediate aftermath of the flood.

“We know there’s a lot of landowners struggling and wanting to move forward,” Larimer County Emergency Management Director Lori Hodges said…

Gilbert said the county had looked at chasing a FEMA grant to buy 18 of the properties, but found the process onerous for the government and the property owners and potentially not worth the savings. The use of FEMA funds would have required every property to be assessed at least twice and, if sold to the county, maintained in perpetuity.

The assessments alone could have exceeded the value of some of the parcels, Gilbert said.

Using county money gives more flexibility for buying, reselling and the level of maintenance provided for the properties. It is also potentially a quicker process for property owners looking to get rid of land they can no longer build upon.

More South Platte River Basin coverage here.

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