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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 05, 2014, 10:30 PM

More Cass County flood buyouts could be on the way

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - More flood buyouts could be on the way in Cass County, only this time it's a much faster process. But some homeowners are still intent on finding a way to stay in their houses.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - More flood buyouts could be on the way in Cass County, only this time it's a much faster process. But some homeowners are still intent on finding a way to stay in their houses.

Cass County officials met at Bennett Elementary with homeowners south of Fargo Wednesday evening to tell them about a voluntary buyout opportunity. Some at the meeting were concerned that not accepting a buyout now would come back to haunt them down the road, and for one, it's more than just his house that's on the line.

Joe Fugere doesn't want to leave the home he has lived in since 1970. It's even more than a home - it's the business he has had for 52 years: Quality Upholstry.

Joe Fugere – Chrisan Estates Resident: "We have the shop below and we live above it."

He is concerned how a buyout from Cass County would affect his business.

Joe Fugere: "That's the only income that we have. So, if I lose the business in my home, I have no income."

Forty seven homes in the 76th Avenue/Highway 81 area south of Fargo are being looked at for buyouts this spring. FEMA funds from the 2011 flood came through, but this buyout will be a much quicker process than you usual.

Homeowners have about three weeks to apply, and the county has about another three weeks to get it all sent in.

Jason Benson – Cass County Engineer: "For homeowners that are interested in getting the buyout, it will be a faster process. We are hoping to get them out of their homes by the end of the summer or early Fall."

Some homeowners were concerned that if they don't accept the voluntary buyout, they will end up being forced to accept a buyout down the road. Others, like Fugere, prefer that the county build a levee to protect their homes rather than buying them out.

Joe Fugere: "Most of the people there want a levee put up because it's been their home for years, also.">

Since 2009, Cass County has bought out about 120 homes.

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