Mason City leaders held a special meeting last night to address steps the city would have to take to implement a voluntary buy-out program of flooded homes. Pam Myhre, the city’s director of growth, development, and planning, says it would take a long time to find out if the city would even qualify for such a program.

She says it will take months, pointing back to 2004 when it took over a year before the first properties were bought out. The state has told the city the application process will last at least six months. Myhre says at least five areas of town could qualify for a voluntary buy-out program, with 132 homes in those areas. She says a split between the federal, state and local governments would cover the cost of any buy-out program.

She says it would cost about $15-million based on the buyout price being the pre-market assessed value of the property plus 20%. The federal government would pay 75% of the cost of a buy-out program, the state would pay 10-percent with the remaining 15% coming from the city.