Council Bluffs leaders are looking to buy out the owners of a few dozen properties that were heavily damaged by this summer’s Missouri River flooding. Mayor Tom Hanafan says there are around 14 individuals or groups who own the 45 properties being considered and many of the owners have already shown an interest in selling.
Mayor Hanafan says, “We had eight owners that came forward that would like to buy-out so we need them all too really get it accomplished so they will never be on the water side of the levee again.” Hanafan says this is not a forced sell-out as the property owners have to agree to the terms.
“We held a meeting with 14 owners and the property,” he says. “The indication was that eight of those were interested in being purchased out.” Hanafan says many of the homes and other properties have significant flood damage.
“If you’ve got 50% damage, what do you got?” he says. “Would you be better off if you were bought out or what are you going to do?” None of the properties are protected by the levee. They will be appraised through Pottawattamie County while FEMA will pay for 85% of the buy-out.
Several owners are refusing to sell.