Whitestown officials eye next steps in flood buyout process

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WHITESTOWN — With a deadline now passed for Whitestown residents to choose to opt into participating in a flood buyout program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), officials say there is more work to do.

“As part of the NRCS … Floodplain Easement Program, the buyout of a participating property owner’s property is achieved by NRCS purchasing both a floodplain easement and the structures (house) within the easement area; and the Town of Whitestown, as project sponsor, purchasing the remaining fee title (land),” notes program information, “The value of the property is based on the appraised fair market value as of the day before the 2019 Halloween Storm. At the end of the process, the Town becomes the property owner, subject to a floodplain easement held by the United States. The land within the floodplain easement must remain forever “green” in accordance with NRCS regulations.”

The most recent step — property owners’ response to a Letter of Intent from NRCS whether they want to participate in the program or not — was due on May 16.

There are more steps in the process, according to town officials. 

“Upon receipt of all the responses to the Letter of Intent, NRCS-NY will complete an analysis to determine if the properties of those applicants who indicated they are willing to accept the appraised value will successfully achieve the purpose of the Floodplain Easement Program. Both NRCS and the Town of Whitestown remain committed to ensuring the program is successful and allows as many applicants as possible to relocate,” Town Supervisor Shaun Kaleta said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I imagine being in a position to next communicate with applicants in a month or so,” he added.

For more information, contact Kaleta at 315-736-1131 or email: supervisor@whitestown.net.

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