Duluth City Council Accepts $2.4 Million to Buy Back Flood-Damaged Homes

By KBJR News 1

February 11, 2013 Updated Feb 11, 2013 at 10:43 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - According to council President, Patrick Boyle, buying back these properties would, above all else, keep property owners from having to foreclose on their property.

Boyle added the move would also keep the houses that sit on the properties from becoming eyesores within the community.

The state money from the DNR will be used alongside additional FEMA money that's already going to remove 10 residences in the city floodplain that were damaged beyond repair following June's flood.

According to Boyle, this will give at least 10 other properties that were severely damaged, but aren't within the floodplain, a chance to receive similar assistance on the state level.

According to District Five Councilor, Jay Fosle, whose district covers most of these properties in question, it's something residents are on board with.

"It's going to get the homes out of the way for any potential damage that could happen later on if we had this happen again, and everyone's agreed to it," said Fosle, following Monday's meeting.

Fosle added it is a voluntary buyback program, and that the properties would then become public land once purchased.

But the buy back is a double-edged sword for the city.

According to President Boyle, while the properties would then add a green, pleasant space to the neighborhood, they will no longer be on the city's tax rolls.