WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 31, 2011, 08:46 AM

Lisbon homeowners try to decide the fate of buyout homes

Lisbon, ND (WDAY TV) - The fate of 17-homes along the Sheyenne River in Lisbon hung in the balance for many weeks, until tonight. The city is looking to buyout those homes for permanent flood protection.

More than 100-people packed the Lisbon Middle School to weigh three options for buying out the 17-homes. Many home owners still have flood damage from 2 years ago. Tonight they are finally getting to hear what the city's plans are to help them out.

“It will be substantial, no doubt about it. They're big numbers.”

Option one would be FEMA buy out all 17-homes, but that means the land becomes federally owned, and no permanent flood protection could be built like the city wants.

Option two is, FEMA buys 10-homes, and the city buys 7 for about 500-thousand dollars. That means the city can put up permanent flood protection. In order to do that, the city would raise property taxes

Option 3 is do nothing. City leaders and people living in town say Lisbon is not a community that will sit back and watch parts of the city flood again.

CHRIS LIND - Homeowner on the Buyout List: “Basically life is on hold, but you got to pay your bills and hopefully something will come around.”

ROSS COLE - Lisbon Mayor: “It’s a lot of money but for Lisbon, North Dakota it’s probably a lot more than it is for Fargo North Dakota. I mean its, we don't have this tax base. It’s a tough decision.”

No decisions were made tonight, but home owners in Lisbon have a lot to think about. City leaders say people at the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of raising taxes. Lisbon's Mayor says he'll be talking with the city attorney to see if a vote is needed, or if the city council can make a decision to move forward.