Montgomery County, Kansas plans to buy out some flood damaged homes in Coffeyville that were outside the area of a private buyout deal. The News On 6's Emory Bryan spent the day in Kansas to find out how the deal will work.
Coffeyville Resources Refinery bought out homes affected by oil, but there were other homes with flood damage miles upriver from the oil spill. The new plan will buy out those homes and the first checks could arrive this summer.
Months after the flood, Cindy Dotson is still cleaning up.
"The offer just wasn't good enough," said Cindy Dotson.
She took the buyout offer on her house, but not the $6,000 offer on her detached garage. And now, she says the city had given her ten days to clean it up.
"Nuisance to the neighborhood. You have to beautify the neighborhood," said Cindy Dotson.
However, there's not much of a neighborhood left. Most all of the neighbors salvaged what they could and took a buyout offered by Coffeyville Resources. It was submerged in the flood and the oil spread to homes, making the flood damage near the refinery much worse than elsewhere.
Coffeyville Resources has bought out 341 homes and more are scheduled to be demolished. That is just the private buy-out and before the public buy-out begins.
"If we don't step forward and do something to help those that are displaced, we'll lose them," said Montgomery County Commissioner Tony Fowler.
The county government wants to buy-out other flood damaged homes that were not eligible for the refinery buy-out.
In Coffeyville, that's 12 homes. In Independence, it would include 130. In rural areas of Montgomery County, it's 28 homes, the first which will be bought for a cost of $1.9 million.
"One of the things that we are concerned about at the commission level is we don't want this to happen again," said Montgomery County Commissioner Tony Fowler.
For Emergency Management Director Jim Miller, who deals with floods every 10 years, it's a chance to prevent future disasters.
"It's an opportunity for us to remove houses from the flood zone and prevent them from continually flooding," said Emergency Management Director Jim Miller.
The buy-out will start first in the county, then Independence, then Coffeyville. It has to be approved by the federal government, but that is not expected to be a problem.
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