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Thursday, October 02, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,
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Fort Plain home buyouts move forward

Friday, July 25, 2014 - Updated: 10:01 AM

By NICOLE ANTONUCCI

For the C-S-E

FORT PLAIN -- Less than a dozen homeowners are expected to move forward in accepting buyouts from the state, village officials said Thursday. 

Thirty-five properties were tentatively approved in April to be purchased in the state’s acquisition program, but Deputy Mayor Loring Dutcher said many of the properties were not substantially damaged.

“We had nowhere near 30 properties participate. There are maybe seven to 10 properties that got approved,” he said. “Many of the people thought that they were eligible for the buyout program because the houses got condemned but that didn’t mean the house had to be torn down. It just meant that that the home had to be cleaned up.” 

Dutcher said some of the homeowners have begun moving forward with repairs, taking advantage of assistance programs through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to offset some of the costs. 

One such program reimburses owners for appliances such as furnaces, washers and dryers that were lost due to flooding. 

Other residents who wanted the buyouts have chosen to walk away from their properties, which now sit vacant throughout the village. However, Dutcher said, a handful of properties were bought by a local contractor, who repaired them and put them back on the market.

Dutcher could not recall the name of the contractor. 

Mayor Guy Barton could not be reached for comment but he previously said he was pleased the state considered the village, which was hard-hit by flash foods in 2013. 

Fort Plain was also among storm-impacted municipalities eligible for tax rebates earlier this year through the state's Mohawk Valley and Niagara County assessment relief act. The act allowed municipalities affected by the floods of 2013 to reassess property that suffered damage.

Dutcher said the village didn’t get as any applications as they anticipated. 

For those approved for the buyout, Dutcher said owners are still waiting to see the money. 

Through the buyout program, eligible properties are purchased by the state and are then used for environmental purposes including open space, storm-water management, and flood protection.

Dutcher could not say when the properties would be sold. 

     

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