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By Joe Block 

Mazomanie residents filling out paperwork, have to wait 9-12 months for FEMA funds


November 29, 2018

The Village of Mazomanie held a special public meeting on November 15 to inform residents about flood recovery options and the FEMA Hazard Mitigation program. The Village has retained Dale Klemme, an expert flood consultant.

The process for residents—and Klemme—is dealing with FEMA’s 195-page manual on the process of flood mitigation for those with houses damaged by the August floods.

Village officials emphasized they wanted to get the correct information out, so residents are not making incorrect decisions over the next few months.

For residents, one of the daunting issues is that FEMA money will not be available for 9-12 months.

In Klemme’s experience with Prairie du Chein, he found that 1/3 of affected residents moved, while 1/3 did not want to move. In the end, 4 and a half years later, everyone had moved.

FEMA gives the highest priority to acquisition of properties—a buyout—and demolition. Homeowners have three basic options:

1. For buyouts, residents must remember that all current FEMA funds received must be invested in the house. If not, FEMA will subtract the unused funding from the amount offered in the buyout. Houses will be appraised at a pre-flood level, Klemme warned that if a homeowner demolishes their house now, they will receive no FEMA money. The house must remain until after appraisal.

2: Physical elevate the property at least 2 feet above the 100-year floodplain level. With this option, the house cannot have a basement, and the property must be filled at the two-foot level within 15 feet of the house. FEMA will reimburse homeowners to within 87.5% of the cost.

3. This option, which Klemme notes has never been done in Wisconsin, is to physically relocate the house. FEMA would reimburse the homeowner for the cost of the current property, and it would be up the owner to move the house.

The latter half of the meeting concerned the bridge on Bridge Street. Residents noted that in times of flood, it acts as a dam. IN addition, with the expanded Highway 14 bridges, more water will be traveling downstream into Mazomanie. The Bridge Street bridge is owned by the Village, and there will be further examination of remediation efforts.


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