During the Elba City Council meeting Monday evening, Jan. 11, city code enforcement officer Bryson Dear provided an update to council members regarding the FEMA flood buyout project ongoing in Elba.
Since starting the buyout process of homes for this project, Dear said the city had purchased a total of 17 properties thus far. He said eight of those homes had been completely demolished with six done by city employees and two by contractor.
“We currently have four more [homes] slated to be demolished by the contractor,” Dear said. “These are one with asbestos that require abatement.”
Also, he said this included a larger home on Smith Avenue that he would prefer to give to the contractor to demolish rather than city crews due to the size of the property and the equipment needed to complete the project.
Dear said of the 17 purchased that would leave five more homes to be demolished by city crews as the time allows. He said if timing became an issue that the contractor would be utilized on these as well, but only if necessary.
Of all property owners contacted thus far in the overall FEMA project, Dear said there had been 12 formal withdrawals from the project, and there had been six no responses.
He said the city recently sent out two purchase offers from the original group in the project. He said these were behind due to varying issues. Also, he said closing was completed last week on another home from original group that had been behind due to tenant issues.
Dear said the project has moved to the fourth group in the buyout, and he had 11 voluntary transaction agreements from that group. He said these agreements would allow the city to move forward with title searches, etc.
“We should see quite a bit happening in next few weeks to move this project along,” Dear said to council members.
Council member Jane Brunson asked Dear to make a guess on a timeframe of how long this timeframe could potentially continue due to the processes and how long money holds out. Dear said it could potentially be another year or so, if the funds hold out for the project.