By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — The city of Kokomo has almost completed the purchase of properties along East Carter and East Murden streets that have been prone to flooding in the past.
The latest flood to strike the area along Wildcat Creek between Apperson Way and Union Street hit last April.
As part of a long range flood mitigation plan city officials have purchased 16 properties that are being demolished by city crews.
The Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety approved the purchase of three additional properties Wednesday.
Following adoption of an ordinance by the Kokomo Common Council the city is not required to get council approval for the purchase of any property under $25,000.
Properties already purchased along the flood plain include: 219 E. Carter St.; 302 E. Carter St.; 308 E. Carter St.; 309 E. Carter St.; 326 E. Carter St., 329 E. Carter St.; 330 E. Carter St.; 405 E. Carter St.; 212 E. Murden St.; 221 E. Murden St.; 223 E. Murden St.; 228 E. Murden St.; 309 E. Murden St.; 318 E. Murden St.; 320 E. Murden St.; 412 E. Murden St.; and 415 S. Apperson Way.
The Board of Works also approved the purchase of two additional properties at 525 Jefferson St. and 424 N. Apperson Way for a planned new housing development.
The city and a private developer are expected to apply for state tax credits today.
The Kokomo Common Council earlier this month approved rezoning the property and the purchase of the properties.
The rezoning of the 14 properties received a favorable recommendation from the Kokomo Plan Commission from several different zoning classifications, including R4 (medium density urban residential) to M2 (general multifamily residential).
Plans for the project have not been finalized though the city has a conceptual drawing from the potential developer of what the project will look like when completed.
The preliminary design is for between 60 and 70 two and three bedroom units.
The private investment in the development is estimated at between $7.5 million and $8.5 million.
Purchase of the properties could be a part of the city’s contribution, which will also include new sidewalks and landscaping.
Some of the money to buy the properties will come from a federal Community Development Block Grant and local road and street funds.
The Board of Works approved the purchase of 506 N. Washington St., 520 and 522 N. Washington St.
Randy McKay, director of operations for the city and president of the board, said the purchase is for a parking lot as part of the Buckeye Street redevelopment project.