Residents who own flood-damaged residential properties are invited to a meeting Thursday, Sept. 14, to hear details of possible flood damage assistance from FEMA.

Anyone interested in FEMA funds to buy out or elevate a flood-damaged home is urged to attend the meeting.

City Engineer Dan Rahn will discuss possible help for property owners at the meeting, which will be held at Riverbend School.

There are two FEMA programs that would accept applications from the city, which Rahn will explain in detail.

Competition for the available funding is expected to be very high and property owners seeking funds will need to meet strict criteria, according to City Administrator Steve Roth.

All requests are voluntary and require an application from the property owner.

To complete individual applications and the city’s application, property owners will be required to meet certain criteria and supply specific information.

Rahn will discuss details needed from property owners, as well as the city’s application process during the Sept. 14 meeting.

This round of funding is basically for homes that were damaged in the 2015 flood. Many were inundated a second time in 2017.

Roth said he and Rahn had been developing a candidate list for assistance.

“While property buyouts and elevations are both eligible, we (the city) have been advised by SEMA that buyouts will likely be prioritized ahead of elevations,” Roth said. “However both options should be considered.”

The city’s application will be based on the interest of property owners.

To date, many property owners have not communicated an interest in buyouts with the city.

“I have only been contacted by a few property owners so I don’t have a feel for the number of property owners who will seek assistance,” Roth said.

Due to the limited FEMA funding for flood assistance, Roth said the city could not expect assistance for all the damaged properties in the city.

“Last year 37 properties applied for assistance,” he said. “Where we land for the next application determines on feedback from the Sept. 14 meeting.

“We need to think in terms of multiple years,” he added. “If 37 is the number of property owners who apply it would probably be three years before we could address all those properties.”

Roth did not explain exactly how properties would be prioritized for assistance but everything starts with property owners making the request.

“We have to see what people want,” he said. “We have to see what feedback we get at the meeting.”