City awaits word on home offers

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 21, 2006

The July 26 deadline for those participating in the MississippiEmergency Management Agency grant program to assist severalBrookhaven homeowners in flood plains is drawing near.

Mayor Bob Massengill said no responses have been received sofar, but time still remains before the deadline.

In the program, homes in flood-prone areas could be bought andowners given a chance to move. So far, homes have been appraisedand homeowners have been told what the city’s offer is.

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“When we started this, I was hopeful that all five would sayyes,” Massengill said. “If none want to move forward, then we’vemade an effort to help.”

At the deadline, letters will be sent to the homeowners who havenot responded to the offers.

“Unless we have heard either positively or negatively, what wehope to do is write another letter saying that the 30 days is upand we want to make sure that they are either accepting or notaccepting,” Massengill said. “They have basically anotherweek.”

The MEMA grant utilized appraisers to establish values ofseveral houses located in flood plains. In situations where thecity’s offer is accepted, grant consultant Woody Sample said thatonce the property is acquired it could not be developed in thefuture because it is in a flood zone.

The grant is funded on 75 percent state and 25 percent localbasis.

“From day one, it’s been strictly volunteer on (homeowners’)part and strictly volunteer on the city’s part,” Massengill said.”But we’ve been hopeful that we could help them out of a badsituation.”