The city of Union is officially finished with flood-related work after the third-highest recorded flooding hit Union in early May.
Stacy and Russell Blincoe, owners of the property at 724 E. State St. have notified the city that they no longer want to proceed with a flood buyout mitigation grant, which would have been used to purchase the home.
The grants are offered to “reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects,” according to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
The city was contacted by the homeowners after the flood in December 2015 caused significant damage to the property. At that time, the owners asked the city to pursue a buyout grant, a federal grant that is administered by SEMA.
The city got early approval, however, no funding was available. After the flooding earlier this year, the couple applied again.
In the fall of 2016, the homeowners began investing in repairs, “which made her financial commitment significantly higher than the market value,” said City Administrator Russell Rost. “It’s no longer feasible.”
The flood buyout mitigation grant was based on the market value of the property before any repairs.
“The owner has chosen not to proceed with the grant and purchased additional flood insurance to try to protect the investment she has and to try to protect her property,” he said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was notified of the decision at the end of November.
That grant was the only outstanding flood-related issue.
No insurance claim was filed after the 2017 flood, Rost noted. The river crested at 29.33 feet May 3, 14.33 above flood stage.
“When we began making repairs from the 2015 flood, we looked for ways to prevent future damage to the city infrastructure,” he explained. Several modifications and repairs were made to protect facilities, including raising electrical services, plans were created for disassembling certain components at the treatment plant and installing rain gauges throughout the city to respond quickly and efficiently as water rises.
In 2015, the city had about $250,000 in damages.