Home elevation projects might move forward

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Photo courtesy/Sally Andrews

Rotary - Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll was the guest speaker at Monday’s Vidor Rotary Club meeting. He shared information about emergency preparedness. Carroll is a member of the Vidor Rotary Club.

Following the floods of Tropical Storm Harvey, a number of Orange County homeowners applied for FEMA buyouts, while others applied for home elevation projects under the FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

In July, FEMA authorized some $3.73 million in Orange County home buyouts for approximately 20 homeowners. However, there has been no similar action from FEMA on the Home Elevation Projects.

Last week the Orange County Commissioners’ Court took some actions that might just get the federal agency moving again towards authorizing about 19 home elevation projects. The Court was asked to adjust the proposed budget for this project by lowering the administration fee and by lowering the amount of money offered to prospective elevation applicants as allocation for temporary housing as their homes are being lifted.

“Commissioners, this is necessary to do this to meet the ‘Benefit Cost Analysis” required by the Elevation Program,” said Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin at last week’s Commissioners’ Court meeting. “We were allocated FEMA’s portion of the Hazard Mitigation buyout program and this is the elevation part. It was being held up because the formula that they use to calculate all this by was not meeting the ‘Benefit Cost Analysis’ for those homes to be elevated. So what we are proposing, in order to meet that formula is lowering the temporary living expenses as well as the administrative fee for each individual parcel or home that will be elevated. This should put us above the line and we should meet the ‘Benefit Cost Analysis’ on the projects.”



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