INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 20, 2013, 06:00 PM

Flood buyout homes have few options for buyers

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Had it not been for Monday's blizzard, seven people may have been new homeowners of flood risk homes in Fargo.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Had it not been for Monday's blizzard, seven people may have been new homeowners of flood risk homes in Fargo.

Instead, the planned auction was cancelled with no plans of being rescheduled due to such short notice and an impending spring thaw.

WDAY 6 reporter Katie Lange spoke to the City Engineer about what the city plans to do as they move forward.

The city paid homeowners to leave their flood risk homes with the intentions of making money on them from an auction. Giving potential bidders two options:

April Walker, City of Fargo Engineer: “Purchase homes with the intent to relocate to a new lot at your expense or purchase home with the right to salvage things inside the house and leave the outside structure and then the city will demolish it.”

With the blizzard, neither of these options became reality. Instead the city is looking into contractors to possibly demo the homes. While it may sound like an extra fee to tax payers, City Engineer, April Walker says it was a pre-planned expense.

Walker: “Any time we purchase homes most do get demolished. There are so many impacts with trying to move them and if we can't find a willing buyer to move the house we do end up demolishing them.”

But no auction means no chance of making up money spent on buying out previous homeowners. The only ones who may benefit in this case, a local organization who has partnered up with the city in the past.

Rob Rich, Habitat for Humanity: “We've been able to go in and salvage some materials before they're demoed.”

The saved goods…

Rich: “Kitchen cabs, bathroom vanities, if we have time we like to grab windows and doors also any appliances left in the house we'll take those out.”

The salvaged items are then sold at re-store, with proceeds going to build habitat for humanity homes.

Unlike the homes on Oakcreek Drive which the city may demolish, they say they've decided to protect these two homes here on Harwood Drive from the springs flooding. Instead, auctioning them off at a later date.

Walker: “There is an emergency levee already behind them. We should just be able to plug that levee and leave those two in place.”

The city says it's looking at acquiring 56 more homes this year for auction.

Tags: