The Madison City Commission has approved the city’s sponsorship of the state and FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Overall, there is a total of just more than nine-million dollars in FEMA grant money available for hazard mitigation projects in the state. In a special public meeting held last week regarding the structure acquisition or relocation portion of the program, Todd Kays with the First District Association of Local Governments spoke with property owners about the program. He said that if homeowners apply and their project is approved, then FEMA will pay for 75-percent of the project costs and the state will pay for ten percent, and the property owner will be responsible for the remainder of the cost. Kays said that depending on where the property is located, either the city or the county will need to sponsor the individual projects.
City Finance Officer Jennifer Eimers said in the city’s meeting Monday that there have been around fifteen property owners who have contacted the Finance Office interested in taking the next step in the process for the acquisition program, and they will be meeting with First District officials to continue the process.
In their meeting Monday, commissioners also discussed potentially applying some conditions on the city’s end of the program. Mayor Marshall Dennert said there are some differences in what the state and the city require regarding the structure acquisition or relocation program.
Commissioner Mike Waldner said that he doesn’t want to have too many obstacles in place for property owners to discourage them from the program.
Mayor Dennert said that he thinks the city will already be contributing by having the property come back to the city and off of the tax rolls, plus the city will have to take care of the property once the structure is removed.
Waldner said he isn’t as concerned about the property tax, but thinks it will help the property owners get through it all.
Commissioners did not make any decisions on any conditions of the program Monday since the only item they were scheduled to vote on was the actual sponsorship of the program. City Attorney David Jencks said that other conditions will have to be discussed and set by resolution at another commission meeting.