Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 8, 2013

Tipton to seek funding for flood mitigation

Kokomo, Howard County weighing options.

By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — TIPTON – The city of Tipton is moving forward with a grant application to purchase and demolish up to 15 residential properties that are prone to flooding along Big Cicero Creek.

Tipton Mayor Don Havens said the city has submitted an application to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security seeking federal funds to purchase the properties.

He said the 15 residential properties have a net assessed value of $1 million.

“We do intend to submit the entire 15 properties,” Havens said. “It will require $250,000 in matching funds from the city. We are prepared to meet the match from available funds.”

Once the properties are purchased and the buildings demolished as part of the federal flood mitigation program, the ownership of the property goes to the city.

The area in question suffered extensive flooding in April along Big Cicero Creek.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said the city is looking at funding for flood mitigation along Wildcat Creek in the area south of the creek and to the west of Apperson Way.

“We are looking for assistance for flood damage,” Goodnight said. “We’re looking at a long-term solution to the flooding problem. We want to find a way to resolve the issue.”

John Erickson, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said Kokomo will have to submit an updated flood mitigation plan before any funding is approved.

Howard County is in the process of updating its flood mitigation plan. Greg Sheline, director of the county plan department, said the county can apply for additional funding for properties in the Hillcrest subdivision.

“There are six homes in the floodplain that lost everything,” Sheline said of the record flooding in April along Wildcat Creek.

Previously, Howard County has used Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to purchase property along Wildcat Creek that was impacted by flooding.

A total of 17 properties were purchased at a total cost of $1,788,000.

FEMA awarded a $1.3 million grant to Howard County for the purchase of the homes. Howard County, through the Indiana Housing Authority Community Development Block Grant program, provided $447,146 in matching funds.

Appraisals were obtained on the impacted properties, and the owners were offered the average of the appraisals for their property.