Paddock Lake to seek to buy houses with chronic flooding

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Paddock Lake will aim to buy four flood-plagued homes in the village through a federal grant program.

The program is the same one the county has used to buy homes along the Fox River, said building inspector Tim Popanda, who believes the Paddock Lake case is the first time it has been used locally away from the Fox. If purchased, the homes would be demolished and the land kept open.

If additional grant money becomes available, the village could add another three houses to the program, explained village administrator John Burg.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has the village pay 12.5 percent of the cost of buying the houses. The price paid will be set by a series of appraisals. The purchase could fall through if the owner of the homes does not agree with the price.

“It’s all contingent on successful negotiation with the land owner,” Burg said.

Initial estimates presented by Burg have the village paying $80,000 to acquire the four homes. That could change if appraisals come in higher than initial estimates.

Some village trustees were critical of the program saying homeowners should have known their houses were susceptible to flooding and that the purchases will cause a domino effect of others wanting to be bought out as well.

“They made the choice to buy in low areas,” said Trustee Chris Bucko. “We might be opening a can of worms.”

Other trustees felt the large share of federal funding presented an opportunity to economically address a long-standing problem.

“You go for all seven,” said Trustee Kathy Christenson. “They (the federal government) are going to foot most of the bill.”

Trustee Joe Riesselmann pointed out flooding in the area bounded by approximately Highway K, 239th Avenue, 62nd Street and the eastern border of the village has been a longstanding concern.

“This is one of the biggest things in this village in 25 years,” Riesselmann said. “Way back when people built in those low areas, there was no planning there was no zoning.”

The resolution to proceed with the grant passed by a 3 to 2 vote with Bucko and village President Marlene Goodson voting against. Trustee Karen Harris was absent.


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