MALONE — Franklin County will apply for federal funds to buy out 10 flood-damaged homes in the 300 block of Lower Park Street.
That neighborhood has flooded in the winter and spring for years. So far this year, a huge ice jam sent the Salmon River over its banks in January, and then torrential rain last week inundated the properties again.
But even if the buyout application is successful, it can take up to two years to complete, which means owners may have at least one more cycle of flooding to endure.
County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost, who presided over a brief meeting Monday with town and county officials to discuss their options, said the proposed mitigation on Lower Park would happen in two phases.
First, the properties on the west side of the street would be purchased, demolished and hauled away and the vacated land would be brought back to its original form.
Then, the roadway would be raised 15 to 20 feet and reconfigured so homes on the east side would be protected.
County legislators will be updated on the mitigation plans at their regular meeting Thursday, but the three attending the meeting Monday — Chairman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay), Sue Robideau (R-Brushton) and Marc “Tim” LaShomb (R-Malone) — believe the plan will be approved easily.
ADDING UP DAMAGES
Once the legislators sign off, Provost would file a letter of intent to participate in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program with the State Office of Emergency Services, explaining the history of flooding and scope of the damage, as well as an overview of what mitigation would be performed.
He said the property losses on Lower Park Street may total about $1 million, which is a fraction of other parts of the state, where average home values are closer to $300,000 to $400,000 each.