Metro Council members want more money for flood buyout program - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council members want more money for flood buyout program

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This isn't the first time Metro Council has dealt with fall out from the flooding event in April. This isn't the first time Metro Council has dealt with fall out from the flooding event in April.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Some members of Louisville Metro Council want the Metropolitan Sewer District to find more money to buy flood damaged homes.

The resolution sponsored by Kelly Downard (R-16), Angela Leet (R-7), Dan Johnson (D-21) and Madonna Flood (D-24) calls on MSD to find between $1 million and $2 million to buy homes repeatedly damaged by high flood waters.

“It was a catastrophic event and we've had them before,” Downard said. “I suspect we'll have them again.”

It’s not the first time Metro Council has dealt with fall out from the flooding event in April. In May, Council temporarily changed a long standing ordinance that prevented homeowners from rebuilding a home if it suffers flood damage exceeding half its market value – unless the home is raised a foot above the flood zone. Part of the reasoning to implement such a rule back in 2006 was to keep flood insurance premiums low. According to MSD, at least 23 homeowners were denied building permits after the April flooding.

Mayor Greg Fischer created a special flood mitigation work group to look at long-term solutions for those still dealing with flooding issues. One of the options discussed was a quick buyout program. MSD has committed $1 million dollars to the program, but Metro Council wants more.

“The point is, it's still happening,” Councilman Johnson said. “I think they need to be more prepared for it without having to ask other people for money.”

According the ordinance, which will have a first reading at Metro Council on Thursday, Louisville Metro has 12,500 structures within the flood plain, but only just over 5,000 of those have insurance policies through FEMA. The ordinance also says there are 16 homes being considered for a quick buy out by MSD.

Council members say the additional money which would go toward a long-term buyout program could come in the form of a rate increase, albeit a small one.

“The entire community will pay whatever a rate increase might be,”  Downard said. “It might be no increase.  The entire community will fund this and frankly, it's hard for me to find a part of the community that was not affected.”

If Metro Council ultimately passes the resolution, MSD officials will have 60 days to outline it’s plan for the program.

 “The financial part of this is doable,” Downard added. ”It has to be done thoughtfully.”

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