WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 25, 2011, 01:21 PM

Hundreds of homes have been moved out of danger thanks to buyouts

(WDAY TV) - More than 200-homes are no longer in jeopardy of flood waters. That's because the metro has been busy buying out and moving homes.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

In Moorhead, 34-million dollars has been spent on infrastructure improvements and home buyouts. Moorhead has bought 83 homes the last two years. Fargo has purchased and moved 50-homes. Cass County: 80-homes and Clay County: 5-homes.

Since last spring, dozens of families have taken part in the buyout. Homes were either demolished or put on timbers and moved out of neighborhoods. In some cases, the vacated lots will make way for levees.

MIKE REDLINGERMoorhead City Manager: “This has been part of the strategy, knowing that it is going to be sometime before flood protection, knowing we are going to have to do some things and we have done that and bought those properties and improved infrastructure and to be at this point before a flood is a good position.”

Redlinger says 88-percent of those who took the buyout have stayed in Moorhead and Clay County.

The Cass County Flood Buyout Committee is trying to speed up the process to sell bought out homes. The committee met this morning for the first time since last August.

The county will hold an auction before February 15th for the roughly 25-homes purchased and closed on. The timetable was moved up, so buyers would have a chance to move the home before the flood hits. The possibility of buying out more homes is also being talked about.

KEITH BERNDTCass County Engineer: “Today we talked about the possibility of whether we could put something in high gear to see if we could get something done before the flood. It seemed the consensus of the committee that given where we are right now, it just wasn't practical.”

So far more than 14-million dollars has been spent on the buyout program in Cass County. Only 3-million of that has come directly from the county's budget.